Black Desert Online
Despite what I had said earlier about my practically swearing off MMOs, I checked out a video for Black Desert Online recently. You know BDO as the game with the stupefying character creator that you can download for free to play around with (and export from if you plan on playing the game).
I’m still lukewarm re: Eastern MMOs, but there’s stuff about BDO that appeal to me. They seem to be putting a massive focus on non-combat activities like crafting, fishing, and housing. One shocking revelation is that there’s no AFK timer, and AFKing is actually a key gameplay component that allows you to work on your passive skills, albeit at a much slower rate than if you were button mashing. You can even hire NPCs to do some of the grunt work for you, like harvesting and transporting things.
Unfortunately, it’s a PvP game like so many other Eastern titles being imported Westward, and rumors on the forums are that the PvE content is kind of weak. But what the hell, I guess. I picked up one of their pre-order packages in a fit of madness, so we’ll see where this takes us. There’s a closed beta test this weekend for pre-orders, and for anyone who can snag a key from one of several rolling outlets.
Yesterday on Twitter I saw someone talking about Tabletop Simulator, which is…a…tabletop simulator. I’d seen this on Steam several times but never looked at it because it always featured screenshots of chess and poker, and also tabletop RPGs. But I don’t play chess or poker, and prefer more dedicated tools like Fantasy Grounds for RPGin’.
But this talk about TS also included a mention of Exploding Kittens, Kickstarter card game from Brian Inman of “The Oatmeal” fame. Some friends have EK and we played it and enjoyed it, but like many things it’s not something we think of breaking out very often, and when we’re online, we don’t get the opportunity to play because…it’s a physical card game.
Once I actually started looking at TS, though, I was amazed by what it could do. It’s really nothing more than a surface with physics that allows you to import art and 3D models. Seriously, that’s it. But people are *cough* importing actual tabletop games to the system via Steam Workshop that you can download if you have questionable morals. You can also create your own games if you’re so inclined. TS does offer for-pay “sanctioned” games you can buy from Steam as well, but I don’t recognize any of them.
I’m excited to actually sit down and try working with TS. I had an idea for a randomized dungeon tile game a while ago, and I think this would work really well for prototyping and even distributing such a thing.
Quantum Break Doubles Up
Quantum Break is one of those games that has been announced with a moderate level of fanfare for the Xbox One. It was featured in convention presentations, but not much was mentioned about it in the intervening years until today when pre-orders went live.
Xbox has apparently caught on that we’re in 2016, because if you pre-order the digital game for XB1 through the Xbox Marketplace, you’ll get a free copy of the game for Windows 10. This is something that Playstation has been doing with a lot of its titles, where you can buy the game on PS4 and get it on the Vita as well.
I’m hoping this is the start of a trend, because I prefer to buy digital, and deciding between XB1 — where I have a subset of friends — and the PC — where I have a different subset of friends — has been one of the more irritating decisions I’ve had to make since I picked up the XB1. This kind of thing goes a long way towards solidifying my enjoyment of the Xbox ecosystem.