Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Day 2: Enshrouded

 I've continued my adventures into Enshrouded and am proud to report: I built a home... with a roof!  And I have workers!

enshrouded screenshot
It's not much but I built it myself!

 The core loop of Enshrouded: collect stuff, take it back home, and build stuff.  Then repeat.  Any other system is essentially a system of support to that core loop.  For Day 2 I found myself out and about gathering stone, wood logs, and .... tar? Yes, tar.

 The basic wall and floor building blocks in Enshrouded just require stone or wooden blocks; both easily attained and crafted.   I was even able to save a bit on resources by using walls with windows instead of solid walls.  Now I just needed to add a roof and to have something qualified as a roof it's a bit trickier.  As far as I could tell the most cost-efficient roofing option is tarred wood roof.  Wood? Easy. Tar? Where do I get tar?

 I had remembered that I could get tar from accidentally burning food or picking up an expired campfire but that nets one tar at a time.  That wasn't going to work for the hundreds I needed for a proper roof to my box-shaped home.

 In steps the Blacksmith.  Actually first came the Google search "where do you get tar in Enshrouded?". That lead me to needing the Blacksmith which pointed out to me that I needed to actually do some of these quests piling up in my journal.  That is a small gripe I have with the game so far; it doesn't really give me an idea of what is all possible with the building toolset.  

 Through quests or upgrading your flame alter new things become available, but until you meet those moments you don't know the possibilities.  Ideally the game would have a tech tree that I could explore that shows me all the possibilities.  It wouldn't need to explain exactly how to unlock them, but just show that they are possible and give a nudge in the right direction. 

 With my Google knowledge in hand I completed the blacksmith quest and summoned my first worker and with it unlocked new crafting stations.  Now I could set up the kiln to pump out tar in larger quantities.  A tarred roof was in sight (and in the screenshot above)!  If you wanted to see more about the crafting station a few of them are in the beginning of this Enshrouded video on YouTube.

 Knowing that NPC workers were the key to further progression I prioritized those quests.  I upgraded my armor with the blacksmith and off I went.  I now have the hunter, farmer, and alchemist.  Next up is the carpenter who I hear has all sorts of exciting stuff (like magic storage that lets you craft using items in the magic storage!).

 Also with the farmer I can take part in one of my favorite hobbies in digital form: gardening/farming!

 More screenshots:

enshrouded screenshot
Night time at the house!

enshrouded screenshot
Kiln interface

enshrouded screenshot
Nighttime shot overlooking an enshrouded area

enshrouded screenshot
House fire? Nope.  Just an eternal flame altar.

enshrouded screenshot
Diggin' holes.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Lions gonna Lion

 As a Packers fan there are oh so many memes fit the occasion for the Lions.  Some of my favorites:

 First time blowing a double digit lead in the NFC Championship Game?

Not gonna lie; they had me in the first half.  Premature celebration?


Sunday, January 28, 2024

Friday, January 26, 2024

Day 1: Enshrouded

 I took the plunge and grabbed Enshrouded on Steam.  Here are some thoughts at initial glance (about 30 minutes of play).  Welcome to a new world heartlessgamer!

enshrouded start
Straight out of the pot!

 The game dumped me out of a metal pot and off I went through a series of caves; well that is only if the player opts to go into the caves.  My first attempt was jumping off the cliff and enjoying my first "you died" screen.  I will have to break some habits from New World where fall damage is not a consideration!

enshrouded death screen
Who knew you'd die jumping off a cliff?

 Once I took the subtle hint to follow the glowing sprite to the caves I hit the tutorial.  This sequence introduced inventory management, basic traversal, and combat. As far as introductions goes it didn't overstay its welcome and I left with what I needed to play the game.

 In short order I was off into the world.  While there was a quest to build my starting alter there were no guard rails preventing me from venturing off into the world.  Sure enough a goat caught my attention and off I went chasing.  I did double back and build my alter, craft a few items, and then placed a camp fire.

 I had nabbed some mushrooms and rabbit meat while venturing so I sat down to cook them over the fire.  Unlike other games with recipe screens and progress bars I was pleasantly surprised to see my character pull out a skewer and roast the food over the fire.  Even more surprising was burning my first mushroom by holding it over the fire a bit too long.  While neat to start I can imagine I'll get tired of cooking in this fashion later on.  Hopefully I can find a cook or get an automatic oven!

 After making my food was cooked I opted to run off to the next quest marker.  It took me through one of the games namesake areas cloaked in shroud.  The quest took me through the area and promptly handed me my second, third, and fourth deaths.  Wolves and other baddies are around the quest area and while they are only level 3 (I am level 2) they are not slouches and easily killed me each time.

 That is where my Day 1 ended after about 30 minutes of play.  I enjoyed the start, but felt combat was a bit clunky.  Dodge and attacks felt very unresponsive, but that may be an offshoot of playing New World which has a very responsive combat system.  I suspect that attacks/dodges get faster as well the higher level I get in the game.

 I see some promise in the game and it is a nice break from MMOs.  My oldest son is looking to play as well so looking forward to some multiplayer hijinks.  I also want to get into some building and get my "cabin with a garden". 

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

New World Cooking Changes? +Bonus Q&A!

 New World's 4.0.3 patch is coming tonight.  Check out the notes here and watch the breakdown video below.  Jump past that for some comments and wild speculation about cooking changes!

 This is a relatively small patch with various bug fixes, but hiding in the notes was a mention about future cooking tradeskill changes!

Legendary Fish

    To set the groundwork for Cooking Trade Skill changes coming next season, Legendary Fish will now require a higher Luck stat to catch.

 Let's speculate wildly!

 So what could be changing with cooking trade skills?  My initial guess would be removing some of the legendary fish from recipes that are needed for common consumables.  It was always a bit crazy that certain attribute foods required legendary fish while others required rabbit meat which is far more plentiful.

 That level of change is boring though so lets speculate further!  I'd love to see New World move into a model where buff food had a much longer duration and thus required more investment in terms of resources to craft the meals.  Or allow us to slot stacks of food that get auto consumed so we dont have to think about it when one wears out; it just keeps consuming until it's empty.  Thus they could be tied to gear sets easier and give more value to gear sets!

 One thing I'd also steal from Guild Wars 2 is "feasts" where a single player an set up a "feast" that other players can interact with to get a buff.  I'd prefer it be part of the housing system so folks have to enter a house and interact with something to get the buff.  This would help avoiding more spam in crowded towns and give additional value to housing which is underutilized.

 Another cooking change I'd love to see is getting rid of crafting skill foods.  It is dumb that you need to consume something that will last for an hour+ when you are crafting for just a few minutes at most even if you are doing large crafting requests.

 Interested to see where this goes!

 Wrapping up there was also a bonus community Q&A in the notes regarding server merges.  Summarized: we listened when you asked us not to merge, but still need to do some merges.  In the future we'll do less merges because we'll have more cross-server activities.  Which I agree with.  Enough said.

Monday, January 22, 2024

The Monday After Post (Packers 2023 Season Wrap Up)

 If I had a heart I'd be heartbroken.  The Packer's Cinderella season came to an end against the 49ers this past weekend.  Thus it is time to wrap up my thoughts on this unexpected season.

 Like many Packer fans I can admit this year's playoff run was unexpected and it felt like the team was "playing with house money". We squeaked into the play offs with the youngest team in the league in what was otherwise a "rebuilding years" so I am grateful for the extra games, but I am also disappointed in how it ended.

packers lose to 49ers coach prays for FG kicks
 To summarize the loss to the 49ers: missed opportunities.  For the majority of the game the Packers looked like the #1 seed and the 49ers looked like the intimidated #7 seed.  In the end though the Packers couldn't close the game out and unfortunately just as a missed field goal by New Orleans early in the season helped us make it into the play offs; a missed field goal is also what helped see us out of the play offs. 

 The field goal was not the only missed opportunity in the 49ers game.  The Packers had multiple trips to the red zone and came away with field goals or gave the ball back on downs (tush push is stupid; stop trying it).  The defense dropped multiple easy interceptions.  Last, but not least, Jordon Love -- for all the praise he deserves for turning it around this season -- regressed back to his early season form on the potential game winning drive and threw an unexplainable game losing interception (I am still baffled on what he thought he was doing).  We hadn't seen a WTF play off INT like this since Favre!

 The season ended on a heartbreaker, but the future seems bright.  The season was full of surprises from this team.  We got to see Jordon Love prove he deserve the starting spot after a rocky stretch early in the season.  The ownership of the Chicago Bears, including a season ending win-and-in game, remains intact.  Young players on offense earned their spot on the roster.  Most importantly: the team is playing as a team.

 If there are any red flags from the season they are the defense and special teams units.  I don't get how the Packers, over multiple decades now, have been unable to field a capable special teams unit.  While we had Mason Crosby reliably making kicks for years the rest of the unit struggled in the return game and punts.  Now the return game seems in good shape (mostly thanks to NFL rules changes), but the kicking game with a rookie kicker struggled and ultimately missed at the worst possible time in a play off game.

 As far as the defense I don't want to be too much in the "FIRE JOE BERRY!" camp.  Folks seem to forget early in the season when Jordon Love and the offense were struggling the defense kept us in many games we'd otherwise not have been.  Eventually the offensive struggles flip flopped with the defensive struggles and the defense struggled through the end of year and ultimately gave up the go ahead score in the last play off game.  With the full season in scope I am 50/50 on the defense.  I like consistency in coaching staff but also don't think Joe Berry's track record is that strong.  I would not be surprised with a change here.  Oh and I am still pissed they ever got rid of Mike Pettine who did nothing but deliver top 10 defenses...

 What started as a rebuilding year ended with the Packers going toe to toe with the best teams in the NFC.  Through the season the front office's decision to draft Jordan Love has been validated should he keep his current trajectory into future seasons.  The Packers are a team on the rise and the future is bright.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Final Thoughts Before Packers v 49ers


packers vs 49ers

 The Packers shocked the NFL world last week sending the Dallas Cowboys packing and moving on to the divisional round to face off against the 49ers.  Here are some final thoughts heading into kick off.

 The story of the 2023 Packers is a story of nobodies.  If you asked the average NFL fan at the start of the year to name a Packers player they maybe could give you Aaron Jones or Jordan Love.  Past that there really was no one.  This is the youngest team in the league.  Not even fans did we know the players even if we maybe knew a few more of the names.

 And it is that team of "nobodies" that I feel is the strongest point in the Packers favor going into the game against the 49ers.  There is a lot to be said for a team that doesn't know who they are or what they are supposed to be capable of.  There is even more to be said for the team that showed up last week and declared they would not go quietly.  

 In fact this team of nobodies is becoming a team of somebodies and that should terrify the 49ers because the big question is who's night is it tonight to make their name known.  Last week it was Love and Doubs (we already knew Aaron Jones owns Dallas).  This week it could be any of the rest of the cast.

 Let's go.

Friday, January 19, 2024

Throne & Liberty Castle Siege INCOMING!

 I just caught the below video for Danneh on YouTube walking through the impending world first castle siege that is going to happen in Throne & Liberty which launched in Korea in December.  The possibilities are just mind boggling and this video 100% increased my interest in the game.

First, the video:

 What jumped out at me is the scale of the fight.  The "castle" is massive with large exterior areas that are fought over before the massive interior of the castle is rushed.  There are multiple points that guilds can fight over to get a piece of the pie at the end.  It also sounds like thousands (yes thousands!) of players will be able to participate.

throne and liberty castle siege
Massive castle map!
 To go with the scale are also the siege golems that can be spawned.  These massive beasts can smash walls or gates or serve as mobile transport (from the video you can see a golem carrying a group of players towards the outer walls).  I am definitely curious to know more about the golems.

 The castle itself also appears to have tons of features that can be destroyed so players aren't forced to bottleneck through a single gate.  Players/golems can smash walls or small groups can sneak inside to open gates (requires multiple players to activate the gates).  This is much more than some simple battleground mode; this is a full on castle siege with variety and different paths to victory!

 The reward for winning also seems massive; translating to thousands of dollars in real world value.  I am sure that will cause some to pause in regards to "gold selling" and "pay 2 win" which is fair but those items are persistent in every game (or game discussion) these days so I'm not going to let them ruin my interest here.  Also key is that it is NOT a winner-take-all system; various guilds can fight over their piece of the pie and none of them appear to get anything if over all a victory is not achieved so this will encourage team work (hopefully!).

 Coming from a game like New World where "end game" PvP "wars" are 30 minute instanced fights for 100 players (50v50) the described siege about to occur in Throne & Liberty seems much more fitting of the title "war".

 I still have reservations about the tab-target / action combat hybrid that Throne features, but I can get past that if there is events like this on the scale (thousands of player's y'all!) that is being talked about.  I've already seen other open world boss fights that occur with PvP active and the number of players present is just crazy!  I really, really want to play this game now!

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Looking for feedback on YouTube intro!

Looking for feedback!

I did another thing on the YouTube today.  I played around with Canva to come up with this updated intro clip to use on videos.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

My first Youtube upload in over 12 years!

 I did a thing that I said I was going to do: I made a Youtube video!  My first video upload in -- checks Youtube and blog history -- 12 years!!!  It's been a minute (or 6,307,200+ minutes to be more precise)!  I was mostly encouraged to make the video to show my oldest son some things he could do with his video editing as he ventures off into his video making career.  Also figured this would make a good blog post on how I combined some AI and design tools together to make this thing happen.

 First; the video featuring a race from Asphalt 9 Legends that I've been messing around a bit with lately.

I had a few goals when setting out to do this video

  1. Be done in a day
  2. Use AI tools to make some images
  3. Make use of sound effects
  4. Create an intro and an outro I can use in future videos
  5. Get feedback on how to do better

 In order to be done with this in a day I decided early on that I needed to use a game I am less attached to.  Had this been a New World video I'd probably still be agonizing over what footage to use or how to frame it.  Asphalt 9 Legends was easy because it features super fast races with cinematic mode to capture the footage.

 I did hit some issues on capture so will be looking for feedback and suggestions.  I used AMD's software to do the recording.  The game play was smooth but the video had some hitches and it didn't record in a format that I could use in Camtasia 2021 (I use this to chop up videos for work).  I had to use Handbrake to encode the video recorded in AMD and after that encoding, even after playing around with settings a few times, it had a lot of freezes as can be seen in the final product.

 Also AMD records my mouse cursor over the screen even though it is NOT visible when playing the game.  Maybe I just need to use a different recording method or program?  My son uses Microsoft Gamebar (or whatever comes up hitting Windows + G).  I've also seen suggestions to use OBS (Open Broadcast Studio) for capture.

 Next I wanted to hit some AI tools; mainly image generation.  I used Bing's image generator which to come up with a "Let's Race" and "Crash" images to use in the video.  I used Microsoft Designer to clean the images up and make backgrounds transparent.  It works remarkably well but did find it sort of confusing and/or limited in what it could do.  I had some final editing that I just did in on my local PC.


lets race
Apparently "transparent background" to the AI means a checkered background.  I used Microsoft Designer to remove the background and save it afterwards as truly transparent.

 AI only got me so far.  I've had a catchy tagline I've wanted to use for a while of "To the point, no bull, game play footage." with an asterisk of "*Not a pro gamer", but I couldn't get a decent image with the text so I ended up over in Canva creating my own.  Canva was impressive for my first time using it beyond just copying a template from it!  It also converted my work to short MP4 videos for easy use including a subscribe animation!  Static copies of the intro and outro I created.

created with canva
Intro (created with Canva)

created with canva
Outro (created with Canva)

 I also learned about Youtube's audio library which I nabbed some sound effects and free music from for the video.  This was honestly an amazing free resource that I think should be recommended more; there is a ton to pick from.

 So enjoy and I hope this maybe inspires some creativity out there!  If this old gamer can do it so can you.  Maybe even my kid will pick something up here from his old man!

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

New World Economy Update Q1 2024

 The New World team gave their quarterly economy update for the game and addressed concerns from the community as well as provided insight on how they arrived at their last update.  Watch below and scroll down for my thoughts!

 The team did a good job covering what they look for in the economy and this time brought charts to go with it.  In the last economy update there was more talk than visuals and the first video was shot well before it went live so the economy had shifted a good bit and thus felt like the developers knew what they were talking about.  Most of those concerns are gone for this video; it was up to date to the current state and again brought visual aids.

 The main core of the economy discussion was focused on the fluctuation of the economy between "sink" (more gold going out) and "faucet" (more gold coming in).  This of course is a discussion as old as time within MMORPGs.  The term "gold sink" entered the gamer lexicon to describe ways for developers to remove in-game currency from games. It is refreshing to see a developer actually show where a game is at in regards to sinks and faucets.

 The ideal state, one would think, would be to be right in-between a sink and a faucet where as much gold that comes into the economy goes right back out.  However, that is not realistic.  Players come and go with online games and thus their liquid currency sits in stasis for when they come back.  It was not clear from the New World video if they account of inactive players in the "sink".

 Also an economy at equilibrium is... well... boring.  Fluctuations between times where the economy is flush with currency and times when currency is hard to come by creates opportunity for those of us that like to "play the market".  It also drives in game behavior and the types of content players engage in.

 To me its less about where the economy is at and more that the developers are reacting to it and that is what this update cemented for me: AGS uses the economy and data behind it in making decisions.  We can debate if they are the right changes or if the changes are released in a timely fashion, but the important piece is the economy is a driving factor for the team.  For me that is a win.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Packers Beat Cowboys

 Alternate title: Sunday 1/14/2024 Post

 The Packers surprise everyone, even me as one of their most diehard fans, and stomp the life out of the Cowboysgirls.  The meme's even make themselves with the Cowboys fans reactions; my favorite below.

Friday, January 12, 2024

Nice People Do Exist on the Internet!

 Just sharing this nice comment I got after helping someone out with Firestaff questions for New World on Reddit.  While lots of folks just use Reddit or other platforms to complain about games every once and a while one person helps another out and shares some knowledge.  While I may not have a heart; I am always willing to share with others in the games I am playing!

reddit comment
Reddit username blurred as they sent this via private chat message

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Day 1 Rewards from Legacy of Crassus

 To go with my last post about the Legacy of Crassus event in New World here is what I netted in my first three runs on day one of the event.  

 I was caught a little off guard getting Wrath of Decimus multiple times, but I'm not going to complain having two copies of an awesome great axe since I can upgrade and change the 3rd perk on each for different builds.

 I was also surprised by the perk mods as I had overlooked them as rewards.  While not the rarest perk mods these were still in demand perk mods which are nice to drop in storage for future use.

new world legacy of crassus rewards

new world legacy of crassus rewards

new world legacy of crassus rewards

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

New World: Legacy of Crassus 2024

legacy of crassus


 The Legacy of Crassus event is back in New World starting today so I wanted to break down how players should approach the event and rewards to shoot for.

 First let's go over the daily limits:

  • The first 3 kills each day net unique event bonus rewards
    • Event armor and weapons (3 per day)
    • 15x Dark matter (45 per day)
    • 1 Obsidian Gypsum (3 per day)
  • Note: All unique bonus event rewards can be earned after 12 kills (so 4 days, 3 kills per day)

 To go with the limited bonus daily rewards each kill will also net random armor/weapon drops including a low chance at Brimstone Sands named items along with consumables such as health potions.

 The dark matter alone makes completing the event 3x a day worth it so I'd at minimum go for that.  The random item rewards should also net a few extra dark matter from salvaging.

 As far as weapon/armor rewards of particular interest there isn't too much (at least from my view).  The main reward I am going for is the Wrath of Damicus great axe.  The axe comes with Thwarting Strikes and Enfeebling Maelstrom and a random third perk.  Per NWDB it can be upgraded to 700 GS and the third perk can be changed.  This makes it an ideal great axe!

 To a lesser degree there may be some value in the Vesuvius fire staff for PvE.  Lots of folks sleep on the Mortal Refreshment perk but combining this staff with Refreshing Pillar of Fire on your armor (since the staff has a weapon perk already) can result in a machine gun of pillars coming out in PvE clump fights.  So niche use in PvE for anyone interested.

 Lastly, as a housing items hoarder, the cyclops statues look sweet!  Good luck in the event y'all!


Tuesday, January 09, 2024

Pax Dei Early Access

pax dei
 Continuing the "heartlessgamer playing around with AI" I asked Bing to summarize the news from the past day with Pax Dei's plans for Early Access.

NVIDIA featured Pax Dei gameplay footage during their CES 2024 special address. Mainframe Industries confirmed NVIDIA DLSS 3 will be included in "day one" of Pax Dei's launch. After a successful alpha test in late 2023, the game developers affirmed the highly-anticipated game is to enter early access in the coming Spring ¹. The game is a medieval flavored social sandbox MMO from developers from Blizzard and Remedy Entertainment ². The game will be available on PC and will feature AI accelerated DLSS 3 ². The early access offers are almost finalized with monetization confirmed as a single purchase grants access ¹. There is no specific date for Pax Dei's early access launch, but a second alpha test phase is in motion with sign-ups available on their website ¹.

¹: [KeenGamer](
²: [IGN](

Source: Conversation with Bing, 1/9/2024
(1) Pax Dei Early Access Features NVIDIA DLSS 3, CES 2024 ... - KeenGamer.
(2) Pax Dei Nvidia DLSS 3 - Official Trailer | CES 2024.
(3) Pax Dei Is Hosting Its First Alpha Test, Called 'Home Valley,' Starting ....
(4) RTX 500 and Counting: Horizon Forbidden West Complete Edition & Pax Dei ....

Monday, January 08, 2024

Sunday 1/7/2024 Post

 The Green Bay Packers are off to the play offs!  The Bears Still Suck.  Let's see what Bing's AI image generator has to say about it!

bears still suck

Sunday, January 07, 2024

The Dangers of Cheating in Online Games: Beyond the Pixels

cheaters in the finals
With cheating running rampant in The Finals I figured I'd let ChatGPT tell us why cheating is bad.


Online gaming has become a global phenomenon, connecting players from different corners of the world in virtual realms where competition and camaraderie thrive. However, the rise of cheating in online games poses a significant threat to the integrity of these digital spaces. Cheating not only undermines the spirit of fair play but also tarnishes the gaming experience for everyone involved. In this blog post, we will delve into the reasons why cheating in online games is detrimental to the gaming community as a whole.

  1. Unfair Advantage: Cheating grants players an unfair advantage over their opponents. Whether it's using aimbots, wallhacks, or other malicious software, cheaters gain an edge that goes against the principles of fair competition. This not only frustrates those playing legitimately but also erodes the sense of accomplishment that comes from genuine skill and effort.

  2. Erosion of Trust: Trust is the foundation of any healthy gaming community. When players suspect that others may be cheating, it creates an atmosphere of distrust and suspicion. Genuine achievements are called into question, and players may lose faith in the legitimacy of the competition. This erosion of trust can have long-lasting effects on the community, making it less enjoyable for everyone involved.

  3. Deterioration of Sportsmanship: Online games provide a platform for players to showcase their skills and sportsmanship. Cheating, however, undermines the very essence of fair play. It replaces the thrill of competition with a cynical pursuit of victory at any cost. This deterioration in sportsmanship not only affects the cheater but also influences the behavior of others in the community.

  4. Financial Implications: Many online games have thriving economies, with in-game items, skins, and virtual currencies having real-world value. Cheating can disrupt these economies by flooding the market with illegitimate items or devaluing the efforts of legitimate players. Additionally, game developers invest significant resources in creating anti-cheat measures, diverting resources that could be better spent on improving the gaming experience for all.

  5. Negative Impact on Game Developers: Constant efforts are required to combat cheating in online games, diverting valuable resources from the development of new content, features, and improvements. As developers struggle to stay ahead of cheaters, the overall quality of the gaming experience may suffer, affecting the enjoyment of honest players.

  6. Legal Consequences: Cheating in online games can lead to legal consequences. Many game developers have strict terms of service that prohibit cheating, and violations can result in legal action. In extreme cases, cheaters may face fines or even imprisonment, highlighting the severity of this issue.


Cheating in online games is not merely a violation of the rules; it represents a threat to the very essence of fair play, sportsmanship, and community trust. As players, it is our responsibility to foster a gaming environment that encourages skill development, camaraderie, and healthy competition. By understanding the negative impact of cheating, we can collectively work towards creating a gaming community that thrives on integrity and mutual respect.

Thursday, January 04, 2024

Some AI Blog Banners!

 Playing around with Bing's AI generated images; prompt "heartlessgamer blog banner". Results below.  What do you think?

heartlessgamer AI banner

heartlessgamer AI banner

heartlessgamer AI banner

heartlessgamer AI banner

Wednesday, January 03, 2024

What Surprised Me In 2023

 To go along with my 2023 disappointments I wanted to share some surprises.

 The Finals

the finals
 The Finals surprise launched in December and I've not stopped playing since.  It is one of the most refreshing FPS games I've played in a while and I have fun every time I log in and play.  My teenager is also playing now that he has his own gaming PC and is the first FPS we've played together.  I'd recommend the game to anyone that is interested; it is free to play.

 Throne and Liberty Turn Around

 Throne and Liberty (T&L) blasted onto the scene in 2023 with an amazing trailer and lots of promise as "the next big MMORPG" only to follow up the initial hype train with a train wreck of a beta test where a completely different game seemed to have appeared.  Littered with mobile-game features like auto play and static combat the game was written off as "another Asian pay 2 win grinder".

 However the T&L development team took the harsh feedback to heart and re-engineered major aspects of the game.  Auto play was removed, the grind was significantly reduced, and combat was updated to be more fluid.  It is still a tab-target combat system but gone is the static combat where you were stuck in place.  Characters now can move with most of the combat abilities and from all accounts the system is better for it.

 T&L also launched in Korea in December... with the changes noted above.  Again that is a big turn around from the development team.  From various folks that jumped into the Korean launch it also seems like the game is in a good spot and the changes have addressed many of the initial concerns.  

 I am adding T&L to my "want to play" list for 2024.

 Blaugust 2023

 I didn't know about Blaugust until I came across it via Mastodon ( instance specifically).  I had a lot of fun with my posts last August and look forward to Blaugust 2024!  You can see my Blaugust 2023 tagged posts here.



Monday, January 01, 2024

2024 Blogging Stuff

 I posted in early 2023 that I wanted to avoid the normal "year in review" and "prediction" posts and instead covered a few things I wanted to get done in blogging during the year.  Before I set goals for 2024 let's look back at the 2023 objectives:

  • 5 posts per week
  • Share more "this was my experience in a game" posts
  • Do some video content

 Other than the video content I hit each of these objectives.  I hit more than 5 posts per week (5.5 per week average) and I had plenty of simpler posts just sharing a screenshot or an accomplishment from in game (mostly New World because... well... that is mostly what I played this year). 

2024 goals
 I do still want to do video content so we'll add that as the first item for 2024: do some video content.  I have an outline of how I'd want the videos to flow and a tagline of: "To the point. No filler. Gameplay footage." with an asterisk of *Not a pro gamer.  We'll see if I can get there this year!

 I am going to stick with the 5 posts a week for 2024.  This works well for me.

 As far as content this year?  I want to continue to share my gaming adventures, but I also want to spend some more time on other game bloggers blogs and using their posts and prompts for my own posts.  I really enjoyed Blaugust 2023 and look forward to it in August 2024, but I don't need a special event to journey out more into the blog-o-sphere.

 Lastly I want to see if I can drive some comments on the blog.  10+ years ago I used to enjoy hundreds of comments per month and then I started posting sparsely and even though I post regularly again the comments have not followed.  I have some ideas here; more to come.

 Stretch goal: I am debating if I want to try and do some monetization of the site.  I do the odd Amazon affiliate link here and there but maybe a sidebar ad.  I don't like ads but I also want to offset the cost of domain registration.  Also I have seen folks with far less traffic than this blog enjoys earn a decent amount of ad revenue.