PC talk system recommendations blog Facebook YouTube articles and guides links bio
game screensots rabb1t's ramblings podcast email
Welcome to rabb1t's web space

Archived blogs page.

March 29, '14 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 154: Weekend on the WildStar - Link
I got to play in the first pre-order beta weekend for WildStar. It was super fun. These thoughts cover early gameplay, from level 1-14, as a Stalker.
March 25, '14 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 299) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

This weekend was the first WildStar beta weekend and I had so much fun. But there seems to be a new recurring pain, likely connected to the old, which is unbearable, which cycles almost at the same time for a few days.

March 22, '14 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 153: I got nothin' - Link
Due to a general business in my life I haven't had much time to do much gaming, nor to ponder what to talk about this week. So, in the first part I ramble a bit about what I'm currently playing, and in the second part I ramble about what I'm looking forward to.
March 18, '14 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 298) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

I got a new game this week, which is happy. The doctor visit for my blood pressure went ok. The meeting with HR about the incident went ok. But the connection at the coffee shop continues to decline. This week it's disconnecting more than ever, and now it's starting to consistently run much slower than it should be, as low as 10% it's normal speeds.

March 15, '14 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 152: Elder 300 - Link
Back when I spent a while in the Elder Scrolls Online beta I noted some thoughts. I'm finally able to put them in the podcast. ESO offers a lot of character customization by unlocking most of the talent lines for any character. While this opens up a lot of freedom in character design, I feel it may lead to a lot of players building very similarly. While ESO is a multiplayer game, it rarely feels like one. Everyone is the chosen one, and everyone is doing everything separately. While this makes you constantly aware of the fact that you are in a shared space there's really no reason for you to be one. ESO uses a very familiar feeling design in terms of combat and questing, and while this is sometimes a good thing, I think due to the cost model this will actually greatly hinder the game. Considering there will be a box fee, a monthly subscription, and a micro-transaction store, I feel most people will not be interested in picking this up.

I saw 300: Rise of an Empire, which sort of runs parallel in time to 300. I think it's a great follow up, and if you enjoyed 300 you'll have a lot of fun with this one as well.

March 11, '14 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 297) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

Lots of pain this week; physical from my messed up teeth, and emotional from things my friend from forever ago have said.

March 8, '14 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 151: Pawns and Kings - Link
I don't have anything new to talk about this week, so I ramble about a Paladin deck, which in the past has done ok for me.
March 4, '14 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 296) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

The connection at the one work location is back up, so a few days of happy gaming this week. I found an old friend I haven't seen in probably 30 years. But still, there are all the sad homeless things, and I feel extra tired this week, and while my tooth pain is lessening overall, it still persists.

March 1, '14 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 150: Thief in black - Link
Thief is a restart to the popular series of the same name. The story revolves around Garrett, who is a thief by trade, but he is quickly pulled into a web of intrigue by cooperating with someone who is trying to rid the city of the plague. While I've only played about an hour or two so far, I'd say this is a must buy for fans of the original series, though new fans may find it a bit too slow and story heavy compared to other modern games.

Spacebase DF-9 is a base building game. Your goal is to make a space station and keep everyone as happy and productive as you can. While not officially released, if you pre-order / back the project you can get early alpha access and start playing with what is there.

In the last bit I ramble about my new Logitech G700s mouse, as well as mouse grip design overall.

February 25, '14 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 295) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

Mostly a sad week with tooth pain and the coffee shop disconnecting, but there is a visit to my sort of close friend, my replacement mouse, and potentially good news about the wireless at one of my work locations.

February 22, '14 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 149: Only a test - Link
TitanFall is a very fast paced science fiction shooter. The beta was open for a brief period, it closed shortly after I did my recording for this podcast, but I discuss my thoughts on the design and overall pacing.

Hex: Shards of Fate, a digital collectable card game is in alpha. I decided to back the game, which will get me some stuff at launch and allows me access to the test. The test is currently an unlocked version of what they are calling PvP, which is 1-1 duels. (There is also a few forms of tournaments which I haven't tried.) While it offers the same richness and depth in deck building that Magic the Gathering does, it also has a similar kind of 'pass pass pass' game play which may bore some. This is certainly not a fast paced game.

I haven't talked about Hearthstone in a while, so I give some updated thoughts on the state of the now open beta, and why I haven't talked about it much lately.

February 18, '14 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 294) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

Despite one good day of connectivity, this week is another week of sadness, pain, both physical and emotional, and almost constant disconnects.

February 15, '14 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 148: Evil dungeon robot - Link
Evil Genius Online is a continuation of the Evil Genius franchise. While it requires you to be online, and it's targeting a casual audience, it retains all of the spirit and charm of the original Evil Genius. Being a Facebook app it's free to play, so I highly recommend anyone with an interest in strategic base building check it out. It should be noted though that it is in open beta, so not all features are implemented yet. If you are someone who wants a finished product you may want to wait a bit.

Darkest Dungeon is a game on kickstarter which is worth your attention. It's a random dungeon exploring game with all of the traditional dungeon exploring, leveling up, and collecting loot aspects. However, what sets it apart is that the party can become afflicted with various things. They may develop fears, become unable to perform at their best, or may overcome obstacles and actually become hardened adventurers. It is up to you to manage their various states and conditions, and this balance between the physical and mental states of your party is what really sets Darkest Dungeon apart from the rest. The game was fully funded in less than a day, but there is still time to become a backer if you are interested.

While RoboCop is a fine restart to a well established franchise, I think some of the changes to the presentation make this one movie you may want to skip. The dark humor of the over the top violence, and the over the top violence itself are gone. What remains is an extremely serious cyberpunk tale which is extremely emotional and contains some pretty disturbing imagery.

February 11, '14 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 293) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

Another sad week of tooth pain and Internet interruptions and disconnects.

February 8, '14 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 147: Thy dungeon, rebuilt - Link
EA Mythic's Dungeon Keeper is a restart of a series which originally released in 1997. The new version, while able to retain some of the spirit of the original game, is quite a disappointment. While it works for mobile, the free to play model, and design around 'burst play' - where you play a few minutes then go away for hours - is not in the least bit interesting. If anything, the restart has made me want a true restart even more.
February 4, '14 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 292) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

Another sad week. I'm playing a game that can survive most of the lag, but things continue to be sad, as the things I have to change to adapt my life do little more than remind me of everything I've lost and how out of my control my life is.

February 1, '14 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 146: For great justice - Link
I decided to pick up DC Universe Online for a few reasons. It is an action based MMO which has a few interesting points to it. It is, however, kind of grindy feeling, and power choice just feels kind of meh. But, for a free-to-play game, it's actually pretty fun and worth a look if you are looking or a super hero MMO.
January 29, '13 - Wednesday - System recommendation updates - pc link, systems link
Minor tweaks to the systems page and my pc page.
January 28, '14 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 291) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

Another sad week of not being able to play. At most I can play about 30 minutes in the morning, but most days I just can't stay connected to an online game at all. As more time continues to pass, it feels less and less like people care, I feel less and less like I'll ever find friends or love, and returning to a life in a home not only seems like a strange concept, but it's beginning to feel like I won't have that chance ever again.

Januray 25, '14 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 145: Box fee and subscription - Link
There are a few MMOs targeted at launching this year, and later, who have a box fee and monthly subscription. I ramble about what kind of players would be interested in that kind of price model, and thoughts on why this is a bad idea. I begin with a sort of history of the origins at the end of the pay-to-play period and explain how amount of content and game choice has changed in the last 15 years.
January 21, '14 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 290) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

Sad times continue. The connection at the coffee shop completely prevents any kind of play online due to extremely frequent disconnects. Videos and even forums are interrupted now it's so bad. I don't feel like I have a right to complain, as that's a free service. But the only way I'll be able to play games online is if I leave and go somewhere else, forcing my routine and surroundings into chaos.

Januray 18, '14 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 144: Castle of cards - Link
I got a new iOS tower defense game called Castle Doombad. It's a tower defense game with a few different spins on the concept which make it unique and a bit more interesting. It's possibly one of the best, if not the best, tower defense games I've played.

I have a first look for a collectable card shared resource type game which is currently only releasing on Facebook.

January 15, '14 - Wednesday - First look : War of Omens - Official site link

Game: War of Omens
Type: Collectable card game
Developer: Fifth Column Games
Distributor: Fifth Column Games
Platform(s): Facebook, mobile in the future
Players: Player vs. player or Single-player vs. A.I.
Release: Unknown
Cost model: Free to play, with gold earned in game or micro-transaction for purchasing boosters or starter decks.

What is it? War of Omens is a digital hybrid of two different types of collectable card games. It is an attempt to mix the shared style of games like Dominion with the collectable style of games like Magic the Gathering. Players will have separate collections and decks, but play will proceed in a more strategic collection style of shared resource card games.

What makes the game design special? War of Omens will combine aspects from the competitive card collection type games, as well as the more predictable strategic style of a new-school shared resource card game. This will be a first in terms of design, as well as being one of the few card games played digitally.

Why is it going to pwn? This should be a completely new kind of game, appealing to both collectable card game players, and shared resource card game players.

Why could it fail (game design)? Being an entirely new kind of game by mixing aspects from two existing generas, the blending may not work out, balance may be off, or the blending could simply fail in execution.

Why could it fail (developer)? This developer is very new, and the few previous games they have are Facebook games. While this could be the game that makes a name for this company, it may fall too closely to previous games they've made, lacking the depth required for such a game to truly succeed. The success of a project is very difficult to predict with newer companies, even if they may be experienced individuals.

Personal opinion / thoughts: I got an invite to the beta shortly after becoming a backer and I am hopeful for the game, but hesitant. It's really too early to tell if the game will succeed or fail. The game moved extremely quickly and smoothly on my system, presenting no problems and feeling light enough in terms of specs that running on a tablet or phone should just be a matter of coding a UI that would work for those platforms. However, due to how much was missing in its current state, the game seemed a bit too easy, too limited in strategy, and the A.I. didn't seem like it took any thought at all. We'll have to wait and see how development progresses. There will certainly have to be a solid tutorial which explains how the game works and the deeper strategies involved, because playing with almost no instruction and a pre-constructed deck felt lacking. With a game like this the majority of the depth will lie in deck construction, and that's something I didn't have access to for a few reasons. I'm hopeful that the mixing of the two card game styles will work, as it could be a really interesting mix of deep strategy but casual and fun play.

January 14, '14 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 289) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

This week my sad times continue, as the connection at the coffee shop continues to die. Also, I'm feeling more and more like no matter how much time goes on, my recovery is completely out of my control and I won't make it on my own.

Januray 11, '14 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 143: Headphones island - Link
I ramble about Creative Lab's Sound Blaster Tactic3D Fury headset. They seem like a solid 40mm speaker size headset, and I talk about the different features. However, for me, my older 50mm size ones are more comfortable and better suited to my needs. I talk about my reasons for that. And in the last bit for this section I talk about the features in the new Creative Lab's Evo line and why those may be a better choice for media and gaming use.

I have a retro review for Far Cry 3. I had never played a Far Cry game before Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon, so I discuss aspects about the series overall, similarities to Blood Dragon, and reasons why you may want to consider picking up the Far Cry franchise if you haven't been following it.

January 7, '14 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 288) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

Sad times pondering the past years, and how the new one is unlikely to change.

Januray 1, '14 - Wednesday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 142: Before and After - Link
This time I don't have much to talk about, so I ramble about teh rabb1t's top 5 games for 2013, and my top 5 most anticipated for 2014.
December 31, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 287) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

More sad holiday times, and due to my paycheck being delayed and running low on money I'm forced to live several days like I did in the early homeless times when I had nothing.

December 25, '13 - Wednesday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 141: Xmas rambling - Link
The first episode for The Walking Dead: Season 2 is now out. It's basically just a continuation from the first series, so if you liked the first season you should like this one.

I ramble about some past Xmas time, good and bad.

December 24, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 286) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

More sad times, and some Xmas ponderings.

December 21, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 140: Sequels - Link
I talk about some of the changes to Diablo 3 that I've seen in the Reaper of Souls beta. I detail some of my choices with my build for Crusader so far. (Up to about level 42.)

I talk about a free downloadable game for PlayStation Plus people who own a PlayStation 4. Resogun is an old-school arcade shooter which is basically a re-imagining of Defender.

I talk a bit about my thoughts on the PlayStation 4 in general.

And I saw the Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in IMAX 3D and talk a bit about that.

December 17, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 285) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

This week is mostly sad, but my spirits are briefly lifted by the arrival of my PlayStation 4.

December 14, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 139: R.I.P.d., Heroes of Dragon Age - Link
Heroes of Dragon Age can best be described as a collectable figures game. You collect, level up, and choose a team of 5 heroes to complete quests or fight other players. The game is free, however, it's one of those energy limited micro-transaction games, so I didn't spend much time with it. If that's your thing it might be worth a look.

R.I.P.D. is a fun light hearted action movie. However, if you've seen Men in Black, more so if you've also seen Ghostbusters, there isn't anything that will surprise you in R.I.P.D. It's a passable start for what could be a promising movie series.

December 10, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 284) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

Mostly this week I feel sad and unappreciated.

December 7, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 138: The MULE returns - Link
Once upon a time a very fun game came out called M.U.L.E. Now, 30 years later, it's been reborn on iOS. It's a fun electronic board game with elements of basic economy in the form of supply and demand. Currently you can only play vs. A.I., but it looks like multiplayer vs. other people may be included later. It's great fun, but I don't know if it's as repayable as I remember the original being back in the day. I'm not sure if that's because I'm older, or because it's a bit too basic for modern gaming.

I ramble about my final thoughts for Batman: Arkham Origins.

December 3, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 283) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

Sad Turkey day times.

November 27, '13 - Wednesday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 137: Catching Fire to turkeys - Link
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) is the second in the series. It is based on a trilogy of books, so we will hopefully see at least one more movie. While this is an excellent movie and continues shortly after the events of the first movie, it is very definitely only part of the story.

I ramble about Turkey days in the past and some thoughts about current Turkey days.

November 26, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 282) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

Accepting that I will not pass this class, making plans to move on, and trying to hang on to what I can have.

November 23, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 136: Android bounty - Link
Almost Human's pilot and second episode have now aired and are available online. It's a classic science fiction cop buddy show that is definitely worth your attention if you are into that kind of show.

Bounty Killer was an unexpected surprise. It's part Mad Max, part Thunderbirds (in that 60s vision of Science Fiction way), part comedy in an Evil Dead and Tank Girl kind of way, and part love story. For those into really good B-movies, this may be the best one yet.

I have closing thoughts for BioShock's Burial at Sea and XCOM's Enemy Within DLC. I was disappointed at how short Burial at Sea was, and very impressed at how much there was with Enemy Within.

November 19, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 281) - Link, Pic link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form. Also, some pictures for this year have been posted in pic series 33. Note since I am taking pictures digitally I don't see any reason to continue pictures as they have been. I think, in the future, if I do take more pictures, they will appear at the end of the week they were taken.

More confusion and sadness about class. Also, more commitment to getting the PlayStation 4 and other things I can have now, instead of looking back at what I've lost.

November 16, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 135: Rapture, enemies within, dark worlds, and heroes - Link
BioShock Infinite's downloadable content, Burial at Sea, is now out. I have only played about 4 hours, but it looks like a great return to the city and world of Rapture. If you enjoyed BioShock Infinite you will enjoy this first part of the downloadable expansion.

XCOM has new downloadable content as well, called Enemy Within. This expands your resources, adding the option to biotically, or mechanically, enhance your soldiers. It adds new maps, new enemies, new items, and a new medal system which helps to buff your soldiers. If you enjoyed the base game of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, you should definitely pick up this expansion.

Thor: The Dark World is a good second movie in the series. While not amazing, it is a great continuation of the story and expands on several relationships. If you enjoyed the first Thor movie you should definitely go see this on the big screen, but if you felt just meh about it, you might want to wait for it to come out on physical media to rent it.

During BlizzCon Blizzard showed off the first details about their MOBA game which has been in development for several years; Heroes of the Storm. I ramble about it for a bit in this first look.

November 14, '13 - Thursday - System recommendation updates - pc link, systems link
A few minor tweaks to the systems page, and change on my pc page, due to the AMD series 7 and series 9 finally being out. Hopefully their placement is correct, as reviews have been few and this is more of a refresh / name change than an actual new graphics cards launch.
November 11, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 280) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

Feeling very sad lately. With the decorations for the Holidays going up my mind has brought up a lot of memories of various things from when I was in a home. As it seems I am getting further and further from ever being in a home again, my days seem filled with sad. BlizzCon happened last weekend. It was awesome to watch, but it's one of those things I've always wanted to go to. It felt like one of those things I'm never going to get to do, and along with it, anything else I've hoped I would someday do. My life seems unchanging, and although there are a few happy things, it seems none of my dreams may really come true.

November 10, '13 - Sunday - Game Watch : Heroes of the Storm - Official site link

Game: Heroes of the Storm
Type: Multi-player Online Battle Arena (MOBA)
Developer: Blizzard
Distributor: Blizzard
Platform(s): Unknown, but PC and Mac are the most likely.
Players: Multi-player duels over Battle.net. Teams consist of 5 players each, but may include AI bots.
Release: Unknown.
Cost model: Free to play, but it was stated gold earned in game, or micro-transaction, could unlock heroes, talents, or skins.

What is it? Heroes of the Storm is a multi-player battle arena where players fight to achieve different goals in order to achieve victory for their team.

Why is it important? Most MOBA games target an easy to get in to model, but are very deep and often quite confusing as to how to build your character and which equipment to use in order to maximize your efficiency, creating an extremely steep learning curve. Blizzard looks to be streamlining a lot of these choices. Additionally, most MOBA only have one map players spend their time on. Blizzard is targeting 4 different maps for launch, with more to follow, each with different themes and goals. One map may have very different strategies to achieve victory compared to others.

What makes the game design special? While a lot still remains unknown about Heroes, Blizzard appears to be streamlining a lot of the aspects about MOBA that seem overly cumbersome, making the genre much more accessible to casual players. The map design is also smaller, and the time it will take to complete a game will be shorter. The addition of multiple maps allows for not only a very different look and feel between matches, but different goals and paths to victory. Instead of what is commonly a single static map where players use the same strategies over and over, there will be several maps, allowing for a greater freedom in terms of strategies a player may use. While this is an early look, it also looks like power and equipment choice is also very streamlined, possibly being done before the game has even start, which allows the game time to focus on the game, leaving time outside of the game to be used for tweaking your builds. They are also implementing team levels, meaning everyone gains experience equally.

Why is it going to pwn? For many the details of learning all the equipment and combinations make higher levels of MOBA play unattainable. While players may have the skill to play at a basic level, they may lack the ability to get into deeper strategies due to lack of knowledge of the intricacies of all the various equipment. Blizzard looks to be streamlining several of these aspects, thus making the genera potentially accessible at a deeper level to a much greater number of players. Also, the design changes to the maps make the game much more fast paced. The change to team levels will allow support classes the freedom to do new and different things, as well as removing the pressure some classes may feel based on their role.

Why could it fail (game design)? A big part of why players continue to play MOBA games is that depth of character building based on equipment and various other aspects the game may offer. Since it would appear that Blizzard is removing some of these elements for the simplicity of a talent system, which again appears to be chosen prior to the game starting, things may be a bit too streamlined for the more hardcore MOBA player. Also, the fast paced nature of the game due to smaller more goal-oriented maps may be uninteresting to a MOBA player who prefers a slower paced more predictable map design.

Why could it fail (developer)? In recent times Blizzard has started to take a more and more streamlined basic approach to things. Since the first big change to talents with World of Warcraft there has been an increasing focus for simplicity of character development. While this does make games more accessible to a greater number of players, in some cases this simplicity may make games too simple, and as a result long-term appeal may be lost.

Personal opinion / thoughts: I am extremely excited at the design of Heroes. The biggest game mechanic reason I stopped playing League of Legends was that it was too complicated. People were talking about how you had to have specific player talents set up for specific builds, and of those builds you had to have specific equipment or you would be considered a failure at your class. I didn't want to feel like I had to go outside of the game to research for hours and hours about what builds and equipment to use for my class. I loved how you could get into a game, level up, accomplish tasks towards victory, but I absolutely hated how people told me I was playing wrong due to equipment I'd picked, or not picked. I must admit though I am a bit concerned about Heroes, as the primary reason I lost interest in Diablo 3 was that extreme simplicity in character design. I have played far far more hours in Path of Exile, which is more similar to Diablo 2, which had quite a bit more flexibility in character design. The over simplification from 2 to 3 is what caused me to lose interest, so I am a bit worried a similar thing could happen for Heroes compared to other MOBA like League of Legends. Another reason I've quickly lost interest in other MOBAs is they only have one map. Heroes currently shows four maps with different themes and goals, and it's only in early alpha. They have stated more maps will be added in the future, and some might even be phased out of primary play modes if players don't like them. If Blizzard can get the right balance of streamlining and flexibility this could be the MOBA that keeps my interest.

November 9, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 134: Ender - Link
While I have not read the book the Ender's Game movie was based on, I thought it was a pretty good movie. There are some very strong messages about bullying and standing up for what you believe is right, as well as some messages about family ties and love.
November 5, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 279) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

Feeling very confused about class this week, and sad about where my life is not going. Still wavering between being a bit better and sick.

November 2, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 133: Batman's origin of Exile - Link
While not made by the same company who made the previous two games, Batman Arkham Origins is an extremely faithful continuation of the series. The tech used is the same, though it may have different reasons for being in Batman's arsenal. Those who enjoyed the first two will find a lot to love with Origins.

Path of Exile is a free to play Diablo-like game. It is more similar to Diablo 2 in that it retains that high action feel and high number of skills / abilities / talents. In fact, it has 1,350 passive abilities, and tons and tons of skill / spell / ability gems that any character can use if they have the right stats. If you enjoyed the Diablo series but always wanted more flexibility in character building, this is the game for you.

In the first ever post podcast ramblings, I removed some comments about Nvidia's PhsyX from the Batman Arkham Origins review and put them in after the podcast has ended for those who care to hear about my ramblings on that.

October 29, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 278) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

A week of mostly being sick and feeling more and more like I'm not going to pass my class.

October 28, '13 - Monday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 132: Halloween special III - Link
I talk about what my top 5 Halloween time candies would be and why. And, I talk about the only two costumes I remember from when I was young.
October 26, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 131: The laptop among us - Link
I had the spare money to get The Wolf Among us. It seems to have improved on a few flaws with the Walking Dead game; choices seem to have a bit more weight, and combat has that tense and urgent feel that was sometimes missing in the Walking Dead. It's a great start to a promising game.

I got my new laptop. It seems to have improved on the already great design of my G75. The keyboard is a mechanical keyboard now. There is a brushed aluminum surface which should help with cooling. The monitor seems a hair better. But there is an issue with the sound having a noticeable hiss during quieter times that gamers might want to look out for. (This seems to have something to do with the amp, which sadly is unlikely to have a workaround.) It's a great evolution of the ROG laptop line.

October 22, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 277) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

An appointment with the doc reveals my health is slightly better in some ways, but worrisome in others. I order and receive my new laptop, which is pretty awesome. And I take my old one to my friend to replace the dead desktop.

October 19, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 130: Much ado - Link
I was finally able to see Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing. It's a low budget independent type piece which seems to be very close to the source material. The actors, actresses, and Joss' spin on how to play things are what make this version great. If you enjoy Joss Whedon's stuff and are at least ok with Shakespeare, this is a must see.

I saw After Earth. While not Will and Jaden's greatest performances, I don't think it was as bad as many said it was. It's a sci-fi adventure with a sometimes moving side story about a father and son reconnecting.

October 15, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 276) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

Although things still seem on track for getting my laptop early Thursday morning, this week has more sad times than happy ones.

October 12, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 129: Mindbender - Link
I ramble about my thoughts on a good way to counter those decks with too many high power cards. My Mindbender deck may be a good answer for those of you who need help finding a way. Unfortunately it's not a cheap deck having 4 Common and 3 Rares, but you should be able to get there by the time you have the knowledge and experience to play it well.
October 8, '13 - Tuesday - System recommendation updates - Link
Finally did the system recommendation changes.
October 8, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 275) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

This week I feel pretty sad, but at the end of the week things seem a bit more hopeful, and I still seem on track for replacing my dying laptop in a week and a half.

October 5, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 128: Among the shadows - Link
I ramble about my thoughts on what made the original Thief series great, and my hopes for the new restart set to release early next year.
October 1, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 274) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

This week I talk about taking my system to my friend. I have a lot of pain in my feet. My laptop plans have been greatly advanced by all the extra shifts. And I feel very sad about my future, as it seems I am again faced with material I don't understand in the class, leading me to feel like I'm stuck and that anything I want to do, or would be good at doing, is blocked to me.

September 28, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 127: Epic character - Link
Our characters (in MMOs) are often perceived to be complete people. We often identify them with a particular history, as well as racial background and ethnicity, much like we do with ourselves. But since this is a game, is this really ideal, or do many of our perceptions hold us back from enjoying things as much as we could? Are we simply forcing ourselves into old habits to force-fit our characters into these perceptions?

Infinity Blade 3 is out, and it adds a lot of story and lore to a game series which previously hasn't really had any. Also new is an achievement system and the ability to craft potions. I'm only about 1-1.5 hours in, so this is just an early preview of what I've found so far.

Epic is out on physical media and I rented it. It's a fun animated fantasy movie that's good fun for the whole family. It's not targeted just at little ones, as so many of these kinds of movies are, as it deals with a few deeper issues surrounding relationships and change, which really help it to stand out.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. started, and it's a great start to what could be a really excellent superhero show.

In bleeding edge tech, I talk about 4k monitors which are starting to get a lot of news attention lately.

In the news I ramble about possibilities for Steam OS and Steam Box's most recent form.

September 24, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 273) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

This week I still seem to be craving salt, have headaches, and worry about my system. Extra hours seem to bring the promise of the new system coming sooner than expected. I get some appreciation of forums that aren't the ones I'm an MVP on, and I still feel generally unappreciated on the ones I am.

September 21, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 126: Only the mighty headless - Link
Sleepy Hollow's first episode has aired. It's not your average Sleepy Hollow tale. Those who are fans of fantasy, immortal tales, and mystery/myth may find it worth watching.

In the first of what may be a semi-regular series I give tips for a deck I built for the Hearthstone daily quest "Only the mighty". In this first section I discuss minions I used which qualify for the 5 or higher mana cost. In the second half of the section I discuss how I paired it with Priest, and give various strategy tips on which cards I chose. These Priest card tips cover many cards which may work for any mid to late game Priest deck.

September 17, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 272) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

This week I still feel unappreciated, sad, lost, old, and what few things I enjoy in life don't seem to bring me much joy, as my prospects for the future seem unchanging.

September 16, '13 - Monday - Power supply updates - Link
Minor updates changing power supply recommendations to the new Corsair RM series, which is modular and quiet running. Sorry I haven't updated the site much lately, sad life is very sad which makes doing all the things difficult.
September 14, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 125: Do you want to live forever? - Link
I talk about the most recent Riddick movie. It seems the character of Riddick is becoming more and more like Conan in space. His movies are becoming less about interesting story and character development and more about interesting characters which Riddick will eventually kill. While not without it's merits, I don't know that I'd say there is really enough in Riddick to be worth actually seeing on the big screen.

Oblivion is a really intriguing sci-fi movie done with a sort of old-school flair. Things are not what they seem and as more of the beauty of the war torn planet is revealed, more of the mystery of what really happened, and what is really happening, is revealed to us. I regret not seeing it when it was on the big screen.

September 10, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 271) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

Worry about my laptop being nearer to death than I originally thought continues this week. Also, there are a lot of sad things going on on the forums I'm an MVP at, and I feel very unappreciated by the community.

September 7, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 124: Dredd, pirates, Roberts - Link
I talk about the most recent Judge Dredd movie; Dredd. I've never been a huge fan of Dredd, but I've always known about it. I actually liked the last movie, but this one is much closer to the original source material, and is set in a more modern, less over-the-top comic style. Great performances all around, and it's a sci-fi action movie well worth watching if you are at all interested in Dredd.

I like the pirates series, and On Stranger Ties is sort of a new beginning, or its own chapter in the series. While the previous 3 movies were all connected by a single story arc, On Stranger Tides seems set on its own. There's the same pirates we've known, but new magic, mermaids, and other new goodies. As always, the pirates movie is an over the top epic fantasy adventure that's well worth watching.

In the last section I talk briefly about Robers Space Industries first sample of Star Citizen. The hanger is a single room where you can preview the ship you got in any founder's pack you've picked up. While not much is there to see, it's very cool to get an early preview of how the game is progressing.

September 3, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 270) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

This week leaves me feeling sad. More and more symptoms are coming up that are leading to the impression that my laptop may only last weeks longer, not the months I'd hoped it would. I hold on to hope, but it seems I may soon be out of gaming again for a while.

August 31, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 123: Hearthstone; more strategies - Link
I don't have anything else to talk about this week that's new, so I discuss some general Hearthstone strategies, as well as a few specific suggestions for Mage, Rogue, and Shaman. I also give some suggestions on good Neutral cards.

In the news I talk about my sad findings with my laptop battery.

August 27, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 269) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

This week is a mix of happy and sad. I am still loving my game and having a good time, but still reminded of what I don't have in life, and more so, what I've missed and can never go back for. Also, I had a pretty big scare with something wrong with my finger, but thankfully that cleared up by the end of the week. With the discovery of the bad news about my new laptop battery not fixing the issue I'm having, the week ends again with sad feelings that everything good I have is always at risk of being lost like everything else I've lost in my life.

August 24, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 122: Hearthstone and ass kicking - Link
Friday I got into the Hearthstone beta. I ramble about how much fun I'm having and, in general, the concepts behind how this collectable card game works.

In the first of what may be a semi-regular segment I discus some general Hearthstone deck building strategies.

Plants vs. Zombies 2 is out. It adds some new map features, some new enemy types, and is a lot of fun if you enjoyed the first.

Kick Ass 2 is a great sequel. Many times sequels fail as they simply can't live up to the awesome origin story of the first movie. Kick Ass 2 does not disappoint, and is both an evolution of the characters, as well as an origin story for many other things in the Kick Ass universe. If you are a fan I highly recommend it.

August 20, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 268) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

This week has a mix of super happy and super sad. Times I'm playing Hearthstone I'm super happy. I got into the beta Friday. I was also offered MVP status, and on Monday that became official. But thinking about the limitations on my life, I still can't help but feel sad. So many issues would not even be something I'd think about if I were in a home. There would be no need, as they would not exist. And with my birthday coming up I can't help but feel each birthday that passes is another year I've missed out on so many things, and that with each passing year becoming re-established in a home seems less and less likely.

August 17, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 121: Witches and Elysium - Link
Dishonored's newest downloadable content is out. You continue the story of Daud right where it left off with the Knife of Dunwall. Graphically the game is a touch different, so if you didn't like the washed out colors of the base game near the docs you may be pleased. However, as it's continuing the story of Daud if you didn't like the first downloadable content you won't like this one either. One new power type and at least one new enemy make things a touch different, but not enough to really change the experience and gameplay we've seen before.

Elysium is out. It's a solid Sci-Fi action romp that never stops. If you enjoyed District 9 you should enjoy Elysium as well. However, I found myself a bit disappointed, as the director does like to use shaky cam during fights, and since the majority of the movie is action, it made a lot of the movie difficult to follow. While it wasn't completely disruptive, I think it would have been more enjoyable had there not been quite so much camera movement. (It's not on the level of hand-held documentary cameras, but it's like when people are moving or being hit it shakes / moves.)

Some sad stuff has come up with my life and while things are likely to turn out ok long term, it seems like I am yet again being reminded how terrible my life is right now, how no matter what I try and do everything keeps falling apart, and it seems that I will never be able to recover.

August 13, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 267) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

This week things seem very sad. As I get closer and closer to my sixth homeless birthday, recovery seems less and less likely.

August 10, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 120: The EQNext big thing - Link
On August 2nd EverQuest Next (and EverQuest Next: Landmark) were shown off to the world. I could not have been more impressed with the ideas they are trying to bring to MMORPGs. In this very long rambling I discuss how they are allowing for mixing and matching of classes, how abilities work, the graphics and amazing character animation, destructible environments and the layered world, "Rallying Calls", and monster A.I., or more accurately behavior. If they make good on all their promises and hopes EverQuest Next could truly be the next step in MMORPG evolution.

One thing showed during the EverQuest Next presentation was a series of videos people had submitted telling 'my EQ story'. I talk about my EQ story of "holding service" and how that inspired others and was something people would always remember.

In a second 'my EQ story' I talk about how EverQuest was the very first 3D MMORPG game I had ever played, and opened my eyes to seeing things I never thought I'd see during my life.

August 6, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 266) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

This week is a bit sad, as I get sick, I'm plagued by bad dreams, and I feel confused.

August 3, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 119: Lost souls - Link
I haven't really played a MMORPG in quite a while. With each new one I see in the works I find myself approaching it with less optimism and more caution. I ponder about what are some of the reasons that have made me question if I really want to continue playing MMORPGs in the future.

The Wolverine (2013) is out. It's based on a comic which is 30 years old, and I think they do a good job of bringing that story to the big screen. However, being focused on story, relationships, and drama, more than super-powered battles I don't know that I'd recommend it for anyone but the hardcore Wolverine fans. It's a decent enough movie, but I just don't think there will be enough there to interest people who aren't that into the character.

August 1, '13 - Wednesday - System recommendations - Link
August system recommendations are ready. Though there were less than six changes, and all pretty minor, so the names and generation number have basically remained the same.
July 30, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 265) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

This week is pretty sad. A few very exciting games coming in the next few months causes my mind to wander back to better days, and along with that comes the sad reality that this will again become an important milestone that I miss because I am homeless. And while I may not miss it entirely in the sense that I can play said games, it will not be in the way I used to, and such thoughts make me wonder if I ever will again.

July 27, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 118: Gods of war - Link
I picked up God of War: Ascension on rental. Unfortunately, due to a spot that frustrated me and made me rage quit, I only got to see the first 3.5 hours of a reported 8 hour play-through. The animation seems good, the game is more epic than ever before, but the UI seems like they just didn't care. It seems a worthy successor in the series, if you can get past any potential snags.

Evil Dead (2013) has released on physical media, so I had a chance to see it. As a fan of the original series I liked it a lot. All of the original elements were in the restart in some form, and you could see tributes to the original in several places in the film. If you are a fan of the original I highly recommend it.

Star Trek (the video game) was on sale, so I decided to pick that up. While it's a decent attempt at a 3rd person shooter, the non-shooter elements are kind of disruptive and distracting. The low-quality production on the game overall drags down what could otherwise have been a very solid shooter. It's an ok game, but I recommend approaching it with caution and catching it on sale for very cheap.

July 23, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 264) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

More down than up this week. Some frustration with my console and conflicts with the coffee shop ass lead to me feeling more lost and alone.

July 20, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 117: Protecting the children - Link
I finished the Last of Us. While the game is very good, it takes a pretty serious turn away from its journey about 8 hours in. From then on it turns heavily to combat, leaving little more than lots and lots of shooting in the face. Overall the characters and story are great, but due to the departure away from the journey, I don't give it a perfect rating.

During the Last of Us there is a point in the game where you take control of Ellie, a 14-year-old girl. She becomes the main character for a bit, meaning all of the extreme violence is being done by, and done to, this young girl. This is not ok. Why is there no warning on the ESRB? Why have reviewers not talked about this?

Pacific Rim is an awesome giant monsters vs. mech/robots movie. Though their battles are the focus of the movie, there is actually more there in the form of a romance, relationships between pilots, and a glimpse into what's happened to the world since the war started.

July 16, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 263) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form.

Last week ended, and this week started, with conflict with an ass at the coffee shop. Apparently this guy has started to take issue with me for no reason and I fight to keep composure and not smash him in the face as he singles me out more and more.

July 13, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 116: Unburied console - Link
I have picked up a monitor in preparation for the PlayStation 4, which allows me to play a few PlayStation 3 games before I sell my console or send it off to some family-like people. I picked up the Last of Us, and talk about a few early play impressions. I'm only about 3 hours in of a reported 15 hour play-through, so these are just some early thoughts.

I picked up Badland for iOS on sale during the 5 year app store celebration. It's an interesting side-scroller which seems very simple, yet can contain some tricky puzzles.

I ramble a bit about my new monitor. I ramble and reminisce about the PlayStation 3. And I ramble a bit about the PlayStation 3 hardware at launch (compared to PCs at that time) as compared to the PlayStation 4 hardware (compared to PCs of today.)

July 9, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 6 (week 262) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year six is up in web and .pdf form. (Note that from now on I won't note what week it is for that year, as that timing has gotten really messed up over the years, heh.)

The start of the week is sad and bad, but the week ends with a bittersweet return to console gaming.

July 5, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 115: Zombie daze - Link
The Walking Dead: 400 Days downloadable content is now out. While it follows the core design of the original 5 chapters, this expansion revolves basically around 5 small stories which take 15-20 minutes each. Due to such a short visit with each story, I think they miss the mark in terms of building a connection with the player, as you just don't feel the same sense of tension or consequences since you have no history with these characters.

In the close I ramble about one of, what I thought was, a very close friend deciding he doesn't want to be friends anymore and how that may impact my online game play time. I also ramble quite a bit about my thoughts on getting a Playstation 4 and the games coming in what's left of 2013 through to 2014.

July 2, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 5 end and book 6 start (week 261) - Link
The last week of Epic Fail year five and first few days of year six is up in web and .pdf form. Note that the year five .pdf ends at the end of year 5, and a new book is started for year 6.

The end of year 5. As year 6 begins the first day doesn't seem that promising.

June 29, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 114: Once upon a time... - Link
Tina Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep is out for Borderlands 2. In this expansion the players are taking a break and playing a D&D type role playing game. The players take the role of the characters as they enter a fantasy world, which is narrated by the vault hunters. Though I'm only about 40% of the way through according to reviewers saying it's about 15 hours, so far this is one of the best expansions I've played for any game. The scale and balance is perfect, there isn't any unnecessary travel, and even things like respawn timers seem to be tuned to keep the flow of action moving forward.

Poker Night 2 was on sale, so I decided to pick it up. I'm pretty terrible at poker games, but because this involves video game characters (most of which I am familiar with) it's like playing with friends. Some of the things they say or do during the match is pretty hilarious, though since there are only a few sayings they do get repetitive pretty quickly. If you want a casual card game that takes a few minutes for some quick fun, it's tough to go wrong with this one.

World War Z is out. It isn't a usual zombie movie in that it is both based on a viral origin, and the zombies aren't all that powerful, they are simply numerous. We follow the main character through his journey to find the origin of the disease, with the hopes that finding the origin will reveal a cure.

Oz, the Great and Powerful is finally out on physical media. This wasn't really what I expected, as this obviously was aimed at a pre-teen audience. I was expecting something targeted more towards teens and young adults. That being said, the movie isn't really all that bad. However, I don't think it lives up to its full potential being simply an adequate continuation of the story and never really expanding beyond what's required of a prequel.

The Nvidia GTX 760 is now out and is a solid card for mainstream gamers.

June 25, '13 - Tuesday - Nvidia GTX 760 launch
Nvidia has launched their next series 7 card, the GTX 760. As I've been saying on my podcast, the 760 has not been far behind the other series 7 cards. It's a solid mainstream card, and launch prices are around $250.
June 25, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 5, week 52 (week 260) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year five is up in web and .pdf form.

The last full week of year 5. As year 6 approaches my future seems less possible and that my life has just become a series of days, days which are limited. I'm doing what I can to stay happy and cling to the remnants of me that remain, but as the homeless years go on, it seems there is less and less to cling to and I am forced to accept new things which are not me to get by.

June 22, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 113: Aliens among us - Link
Man of Steel is now out. It's a restart to the Superman movies and does an amazing job of setting up a new-school origin and background for Superman, and it's the first Superman movie I've felt was really on-par in terms of the epic scale it should be for such a movie.

Dark Skies is one of the scariest haunting type movies I've seen, and due to it not quite being a standard haunting movie I think it may be one Sci-fi fans and gamers might be interested in.

June 18, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 5, week 51 (week 259) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year five is up in web and .pdf form.

Looking at the cool games from E3 that I can't play, pondering not being a dad on Dad's day, I become sad about my future, or more accurately, the lack thereof.

June 15, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 112: E times 3 - Link
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is now out for physical media. It's silly fun and similar in style to the Evil Dead movies.

I finished Remember Me at about 8 played hours. I ramble about some closing thoughts.

There were several games that looked cool during the E3 coverage and I talk about my top favorites. Destiny, which is made by the people who made the first three Halo movies, looks awesome. I'm not usually interested in PvP games, but Titanfall looks absolutely incredible. Thief looks like an incredibly well done continuation of the series, though technically it's a restart. Batman: Arkham Origins looks just like it should, though it's made by a different studio than the original Arkham games. Tom Clancy's; the Division looks like an interesting post-apocalyptic role playing shooter. An expansion for the Walking Dead game has been announced and is called 400 days. And a PS4 exclusive, The Order 1866, looks like an interesting take on 1800s London.

June 13, '13 - Thursday - Tomb Raider screenshots - Link
It's been forever since I posted any game screen shots. I took a few shots while playing the new Tomb Raider game. I finally got off my lazy butt and put them on the screenshot page.
June 11, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 5, week 50 (week 258) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year five is up in web and .pdf form.

The week starts with vacation time, moves in to extra work time, and ends with the start of E3.

June 8, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 111: To boldly go - Link
Remember Me is a video game set in the future in Neo Paris. The game is breathtakingly beautiful, and the story and characters are very deep and well thought out. Combat is similar to the Batman Arkham games, while adding a touch of customization to combo moves. Memory remixes seem few and far between, but are interesting and add a lot to the story. However, due to the linear nature I don't see a lot of compelling reasons for someone to replay the game once they've finished.

Warhamer Quest seems like a direct port from the original board game. There is very little of interest in this digital version to keep me wanting to play.

Warm Bodies is a very different zombie movie. It starts at the end of the story as opposed to most which start at the beginning or the middle. Also, this is a romantic comedy. The movie focuses on conflict and change, and is one of the best romantic comedies I've seen.

I found two Internet shows attempting to continue where the original Star Trek leaves off; Star Trek Continues and Star Trek Phase II. Star Trek Continues is very faithful to the original material, copying the mannerisms of the characters, as well as some very similar script writing. It seems like it has promise and I'm looking forward to seeing more. Star Trek Phase II, on the other hand, isn't quite as faithful. The script writing is ok to bad, and the acting is equally lackluster. This one I'm taking a pass on.

In the news I have two bits of interesting hardware news. The Nvidia GTX 770 has launched and replaces the previous GTX 670 and 680 in terms of power. Intel has also launched a new socket, 1150 aka Haswell. While it's not a gain for desktops at the moment it is a big change for laptops, offering both more computational power as well as lower power consumption, allowing for longer battery life.

June 4, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 5, week 49 (week 257) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year five is up in web and .pdf form.

I guess the week has been ok. I've been helping someone with laptop stuff, yesterday I put up new infos for socket 1150, and I've already recorded a lot for my next podcast. I guess I feel a bit more helpful and appreciated than usual, and that's a rare thing.

June 3, '13 - Monday - PC page update / System builds - PC link / systems link
Intel's new socket 1150 has launched, and my pc page and the system recommendations page have been updated.

As a side note, if you already have a socket 1155 or 2011 system there is no need for you to plan an upgrade to 1150. While it is a new socket the power range for desktops hasn't really changed. This move is, however, a big change for laptops, as it allows desktop level CPUs to run in laptops on incredibly low power. Laptop battery life will increase significantly due to the more efficient CPUs.

June 1, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 110: Gun kata - Link
(0:25) I talk about Equilibrium, which is a sci-fi movie that came out in 2002. It's similar to classic sci-fi in that it takes place in an oppressive future where art and feeling emotions are punishable by death. The second half of the movie is much more action oriented, as the main character goes through a transformation.

I have a new rating system for movies, and this one rates as; rent it, watch it with popcorn, and watch it with friends.

(7:35) In the news I talk a bit about the Nvidia GTX 780 launch, the first of Nvidia's series 7 graphic cards. It takes the crown for most powerful Nvidia single chip graphics card, performing very near to the $1000 Titan without the non-gaming computational advantage.

May 30, '13 - Thursday - Nvidia GTX 770 launch; the second card for series 7
Nvidia has launched their next series 7 card, the GTX 770. This replaces the previous generation's high-end GTX 670 and GTX 680. System recommendation updates have also been done. I highly recommend the GTX 770 for high-setting single monitor gamers, but the limitation of 2 gig makes me a bit concerned for triple monitor users under a single GTX 770. (5/31 edit; On Evga's page it shows a 4 gig version. So it looks like there should be 4 gig GTX 770s soon for those who plan to run triple monitor on a single card and want a bit more wiggle room.)
May 28, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 5, week 48 (week 256) and Picture series 32 - Link / pic link
The next week of Epic Fail year five is up in web and .pdf form. Also, the half-dozen pictures that I've taken over the past 6 or so months appear in picture series 32.

A very sad week for me. It started with my being sick. In the middle the sad reality of my teeth catch up to me. (As mentioned in podcast 109.) And in the end, the holiday does little more than remind me how alone and single-serving my life is.

May 25, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 109: Bugs and the final frontier - Link
I don't have much going on for gaming this week, so I ramble about game bugs. Why is it developers sometimes don't fix them? Are they passionate about making games, or are they simply in it to make money?

I talk about Star Trek: Into Darkness. As I expected it was an awesome blend of the classic elements of the characters as well as new elements. Star Trek: Into Darkness is a re-telling of the crew's encounter with Khan Noonien Singh. Since it is a different timeline the changes to the story make a lot of sense and are great to see. Every Star Trek fan should go see the movie.

In the close I tell a sad story about the state of my teeth, and how at the rate they are going some won't last much longer. I encourage people to be accepting of things their loved ones, or they themselves, do not like, and find a different way to achieve what needs to be done. There are different paths than the mainstream one, and that's perfectly ok if that's what works for you.

May 22, '13 - Wednesday - Nvidia GTX 780 launch; the first card for series 7 - Link
Nvidia has launched their new series 7. Currently only the flagship card, the GTX 780, is available, but it is roughly 90% of the performance of the GTX Titan at 65% of the cost. (Though if you are using a graphics card for non-gaming apps you may want to stick with the Titan, as the near performance match on the GTX 780 is only in gaming performance.) Those who already have a high-end series 6 card (about a GTX 670 or higher) really have no need to upgrade to a GTX 780. However, if you have an older generation card and have been looking to upgrade to a new flagship card the GTX 780 would be worth a look. If you are running triple monitor and only want a single card I'd highly recommend it. However, if you are only running single monitor, or are looking for a single card and hope to get another gifted in the future to run multi-GPU, I'd say you probably would be better served holding out for the mainstream targeted GTX 760. (Rumored to be called the 760 Ti, but we'll see in a few months I'd guess.)
May 21, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 5, week 47 (week 255) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year five is up in web and .pdf form.

A sad week, as so many are these days. But I have my laptop, I have my games, I have my car, and with a few places to get online, that's really about all I can seemingly hope for these days.

May 18, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 108: Hearthstone - Link
I don't have much going on for gaming this week, so I do an official Game Watch for Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. The game watch describes, in as non-bias a way as I can manage, reasons why you should be interested as a gamer, and why the game could succeed or fail from a development standpoint. In closing I talk about why Hearthstone could be the (digital) CCG I've been waiting for.

(Note that from now on I'll be putting time references for the different sections. That way if people want to skip a section, or want to quickly find one, you can do so.)

May 14, '13 - Tuesday - Game Watch : Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft - Official site link

Game: Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
Type: Collectable Card game
Developer: Blizzard
Distributor: Blizzard
Platform(s): PC / Mac / iPad (rumored eventually Android)
Players: Multi-player duels over Battle.net (1 on 1 to start, but this may change someday to include other forms of play.)
Release: For North America; Late 2013, beta in summer. Release in other countries after NA launch.
Cost model: Free to download. Free to play. Boosters and Forge competition for low cost. (Though the numbers may change it is currently an estimated $1 per booster for 5 cards, and $3 for a Forge deck, of which 15 cards are kept.) Note that boosters can also be won for free.

What is it? Hearthstone is a digital collectable card game set in the Warcraft universe. It will incorporate aspects from the original Warcraft strategy games, World of Warcraft, and even the World of Warcraft comics. It will be free to download and play. You can build and tune decks, build up your collection with boosters (either won for free or purchased), participate in a sealed deck challenge called the Forge, and even create or enhance cards though crafting.

Why is it important? Collectable card games are few and far between, even if we don't limit the search by only looking at digital format. The fact that Blizzard is making it should give it a much higher chance for having a dedicated team of individuals behind its creation, as well as word about the game spreading.

What makes the game design special? Blizzard is not only putting it's usual level of polish on the game as a whole, but they are taking advantage of the digital nature. Everything you do will be highly animated and exciting to watch and hear, and even the cards themselves have been mentioned to have very special rare versions which have some animations running on them. Blizzard is also introducing the Forge, where you enter a sort of sealed deck competition, building a deck from random choices. There will also be crafting, which will, in theory, allow you to create cards you are missing or to enhance cards you have collected. (Very little is known about crafting at the time of this writing.)

Why is it going to pwn? With Blizzards level of polish and attention to detail Hearthstone should be truly entertaining to play and watch. With their level of commitment and huge piles of money from other games, there should be plenty of money to invest to make sure the game both launches smoothly and is supported for years to come.

Why could it fail (game design)? Collectable card games are very tough to balance. If there is an imbalance in a core feature the game may easily die due to lack of interest. Also, Blizzard is not allowing for player trading. While this will remove any concerns regarding a real world imbalance caused by people buying/selling cards, it does take away a huge aspect of casual collectable card games. Blizzard is also going for a more simplistic, and fast play, design for the game. This overall core philosophy may limit how the game plays strategically and this may be too casual of a style for the hardcore collectable card game players, creating a game which is only loved by the very casual players.

Why could it fail (developer)? Blizzard has huge piles of cash, so we won't need to worry about any funding issues long-term or not enough money to do proper testing and balance for launch. However, due to the free to play model Blizzard may eventually follow a micro-transaction model that players don't agree with, thus losing players due to disagreement on how they are making money off of Hearthstone.

Personal opinion / thoughts: Hearthstone is the first digital collectable card game I've really truly gotten excited about. There have been a few others over the years I've talked about, but their designs at launch have been disappointing in one way or another. They didn't seem true to the kind of collectable card game play style I was looking for. Blizzard seems to have truly nailed all of the aspects I'm looking for. Blizzard is also the first to truly take advantage of the digital nature in terms of animation, collection, and even modifying the cards. They have gone very minimal / simplistic in play, keeping things quick and easy to recognize, yet the depth of deck tuning and building still seems to be in place. Will Hearthstone be the digital collectable card game I've been waiting roughly 20 years for? Time will tell. Beta should start in about a month, and I'm sure we will know much more once it does.

May 14, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 5, week 46 (week 254) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year five is up in web and .pdf form.

An otherwise sad, slow, and lonely feeling week interrupted by an appreciative email from a Blizzard forum moderator.

May 10, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 107: Of islands, bows, and zip lines - Link
I start the podcast talking about the first of two games which take place on an island, use bows, and have zip lines; Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. Blood Dragon does not require you own the base Far Cry 3 game, it is a stand-alone sold digitally for $15. The game is based in a 'dark future of 2007' from an 80s perspective of sci-fi. There are cyborgs, lasers, and dinosaurs. It's hilarious and ridiculous and really kind of perfect in many ways.

I have played 8 hours of the newest Tomb Raider, and although I've not finished yet I ramble about my thoughts. It re-starts the series in a great way and has all of the iconic Tomb Raider features. There is a ton of great story, solid action, but very few tombs. Though a bit of a departure from a standard Tomb Raider game it all makes perfect sense as a re-start and shows great promise for the series moving forward.

Braving what may have been insane crowds I decided to see Iron Man 3 opening weekend. If you are a fan of the series I highly recommend it, but if you haven't seen it yet you can listen to my rambly thoughts and decide for yourself.

May 7, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 5, week 45 (week 253) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year five is up in web and .pdf form.

Despite getting two new games this week and seeing an awesome movie, I have some sad times and struggle my self-worth, and again question if recovery will ever be possible.

May 4, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 106: The missing link - Link
I return to my thoughts on what it is about gaming that I feel I may be missing lately. Disappointment with recent MMOGs leads to thoughts about not encouraging group play in ways that foster social connectivity. Thoughts that my disappointment may lie within me, that my missing a pen and paper / board game to group with may be the cause. Thoughts about how the industry seems to be taking MMOGs in a direction that's more single player focused where grouping is little more than an afterthought and thus discouraging social interaction.

I finished Hitman: Absolution and have a few closing thoughts on that. The levels were pretty open compared to previous games, but, typical for Hitman, they kind of expect you to run them a dozen times and learn the scripted patterns of the targets. Voice and script was great, but really dragged down by poor animation quality in the pre-rendered scenes. Overall I'd still recommend it for any Hitman series fan.

April 30, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 5, week 44 (week 252) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year five is up in web and .pdf form.

Another mark of time has come and gone; the Steampunk convention I found years ago. As I decide not to visit I ponder my youth long ago when I could go to conventions, and I am saddened by my wishes of youth not coming true, as well as the sense of loss I feel by continuing to not have something I've been longing for.

April 27, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 105: Battling bookworms - Link
I talk about a new iOS game, Bookworm Heroes. It's a take your turn word game, compiling words from tiles similar to Scrabble. Letters damage your opponent in a fighting game like manner. It seems pretty fun, and there are heroes that balance to different word styles, so, in theory, vocabulary shouldn't limit your ability to play. It does seem though that people can take hours, or sometimes days, to take turns, so excitement can quickly be lost by being matched up with a player who doesn't move often. While it includes high Facebook integration, it is not out for Facebook. I think limiting it to iOS only is a mistake.

I finished the expansion to Dishonored: The Knife of Dunwall. As I said before it's an excellent expansion very worth playing through.

And, I ramble a bit about my new headphones I had to get to replace my broken ones.

April 23, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 5, week 43 (week 251) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year five is up in web and .pdf form.

The end of an emotionally terrible week comes to a close. As it does I no longer know if this path is clear. I wonder if any path I've taken has helped at all, as none of the last 14 years of school have seemed to make any difference in helping me find a job. I know what I like to do. I know what I'm good at and I enjoy. But those are only done by a very small number of people, and I have no idea how to get in to those jobs, if I even could without four year and higher degrees. And now I feel more lost and unsure about my future than I have in quite a while.

April 20, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 104: A knife held with defiance - Link
I talk about my early thoughts of the newest expansion for Dishonored, the Knife of Dunwall. I've played about 3 hours and done the first two missions. The game does have a bit of training in the beginning, which is a good refresher. The campaign is a separate thing with a new character, Daud. (Voiced by a very recognizable Michael Madsen.) While you are on your own missions it is set in the same time period as the original campaign, as Daud is the character who killed the Empress. If you enjoyed the base game you should definitely pick up Knife of Dunwall.

I saw the premier of Defiance. It was pretty good. Set slightly in the future it's a tale of how 8 races try to get along on a transformed Earth in the city of Defiance. Will it last? I don't know. It seems a strange blend of old west and soap opera character interaction. I think it will get a few seasons before anything is seriously changed or it's canceled, but time will tell.

April 18, '13 - Thursday - Nvidia PhysX in Hawken - Link
One of my few regrets about my laptops is it's AMD based. The Nvidia based one at the time was about 40% more expensive and out of my price range. Having played Hawken for a bit without PhysX this video shows some really cool and immersive stuff. (Sadly this one does not have one of those side-by-side comparisons to show you what it looks like without PhysX.)
April 16, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 5, week 42 (week 250) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year five is up in web and .pdf form.

The week started ok, but then became sad, and ended with the certainty that I may need to consider dropping my class, and the uncertainty of if any of the past 14 years of school have helped at all.

April 13, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 103: All about Warframe - Link
I talk about the game my online friends and I are currently playing; Warframe. It is currently in open beta, so anyone can sign up and play. It is a free to play 3rd person PvE Sci-Fi shooter which has randomly generated levels. The items and suits can be specialized with mods, which are similar to a collectable card game in their nature in that each can be swapped in or out of items, and the mods can be leveled up to increase their power / effects. The game seems pretty complete and a lot of fun, but there is a heavy monetization aspect in micro-transactions that I'm not sure if I really agree with due to the slow acquisition speed if you aren't going to pay real-world monies.
April 9, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 5, week 41 (week 249) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year five is up in web and .pdf form.

Another sad and lonely week. I think more and more lately I am pondering how much has not changed over the years as we approach the end of yet another Fail year.

Again, I'll have a class this next quarter on Tuesdays, so I likely won't post the Epic Fail week until mid afternoon PST.

April 6, '13 - Saturday - rabb1t's ramblings podcast 102: Twice finished - Link
I open with my thoughts about finishing BioShock Infinite, and I mention some notes on things I found that are different from what I thought in my previous podcast.

I talk about my thoughts StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm's single player campaign. I discuss differences from the previous SC2 game, as well as thoughts on the general feel of the multiplayer community and why I don't expect to be playing very much online, if at all.

And in the close I do a retro review for Hitman: Absolution. Some things seem to have changed for this time around, and it wouldn't surprise me if those changes were to be more welcoming to new players. I'm not done yet, only about 5 hours in, but I think I'm deep enough to have seen everything in the single player campaign that's new. There is also a new play type called Contract mode, and I haven't tried that yet.

April 2, '13 - Tuesday - Epic Fail book 5, week 40 (week 248) - Link
The next week of Epic Fail year five is up in web and .pdf form.

Another sad and lonely week. Table Top day failed, and this was the first Easter I didn't celebrate possibly ever.

As a side note, I'll have a class this next quarter on Tuesdays, so I likely won't post the Epic Fail week until mid afternoon PST.

Archived Blogs

Comments and stuff Copyright E. Stryker 2006-2013
Product images are copyright of wherever I borrowed them from if borrowed, or by me if taken by me. :)

flash required for the logo
best viewed at 1280 wide resolution or higher