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Friday, January 15, 2016

Game Redux -- Walk through, Play through, or Let's Play?

Hello all! Just going to catch you up on my gaming and whatnot. It's been a couple weeks now, and I hope you're all enjoying 2016!



Brecken and Tarlac! Tarlac and Brecken! We're like peanut butter and jelly these days in Wizard101, friends!

Every five to seven days we've been putting up a new episode of our Wizard101 Let's Play. Which reminds me.  I've been getting stuck on whether to call these videos a "walk through", "play through", or "Let's Play."

According to this forum post, it seems I should be calling them Let's Plays? Um, what do you think?

Regardless . . . here are Episodes 3, 4, and 5:

And if you're behind and want to just catch the highlights, The Art of Warlord has you covered!

Episode 3 highlights
Episode 4 highlights
Episode 5 highlights

Hope you're enjoying the series.



Said what?! DOTA 2?!  DOTA 2!

That's right, I've been getting my butt kicked in a legit MOBA, and it's pretty freaking fun. A neighbor of mine invited me over for a LAN party, and he talked me through playing the game. I'm not very good at it, but against medium and hard bots, I'm on the positive side for wins. When I first started playing I was drawn to one particular hero and stuck with him through several matches:


Yup, I liked the double thrown axes nuke and the somewhat survivable wolf pet coupled with a pretty nice stun.

I think it was good to stick with one character for a number of matches. Now I feel like I've upgraded from Beastmaster to this guy.


I've always been drawn to "pet class" types of characters, and this -- like beastmaster -- is pretty awesome. For me, it's better because I never used the hawk to spy on other characters like I should have, and I think the trade off for Lycan is that he feels just a bit tougher. He's a jungler as well, so I can take trips through the woods between lanes to get gold and spread out the wealth from killing creeps.

Anyway, it's kind of strange legitamately trying to play a MOBA after years of taking a pass.



I CANNOT believe this game is back from the dead. I was stunned to see it up on Steam for 10 bucks, and I couldn't help myself . . . not after all that Friendly Warcrafter business.

My Warcrafter is level 11 and making his way slowly -- slowly -- through the game. It's been on the back burner, but I gotta play this one a bit.

I still own my shirt after all.



The kids and I have been kicking it on local area servers lately. It was a little heartbreaking on one of them since we managed to somehow get all the way up to the part of the game where we want to the nether, farmed for blaze rods, and then were in the process of collecting eyes of ender -- had a pretty awesome village built too -- when BOOM . . . the file was somehow corrupted. I read through all the guides of how to try to save it, but I couldn't make it happen.  Oh well.

We started over a couple times, and we're back at it like pros.


DC Universe Online

My Sunday night group continues to play DCUO . . . honestly can't believe we haven't given up on this game . . .

I'll have to write more on this later! I'm out of time for writing this morning. ;)


. . . and aside from a new quest to get that valentine-themed card back in Hearthstone, that's all the news fit to print!

It'd be nice to stream some Pirate101 again here in 2016, and I'd love to see the chat room jumping again.

Happy Dueling!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The YouTubes, You, and Me Too!

WOW! I've had a pretty active run on YouTube the past few days. It's like I've hit a creative spark over the holidays here.  I've been announcing these over Twitter for the most part, but lemme break it down for you (and catalog it for me) over here on my blog.


Wizard101 Let's Play!

I've started up a new walk through of Wizard101 with Morgrim from the Art of the Warlord. I'm playing as a Balance wizard named Tarlac and she's playing as an Ice wizard named Brecken, and together we are the champions of THE BEETLE!

If you don't have time for the full, unedited walkthrough (interruptions from dogs, children, and all), be sure to catch the highlights on The Art of Warlord's channel.

The hope is that we make it all the way through the game -- that's a lot of work -- wish us luck!


Top Ten Favorite Death Spells

I just wanted to do a fun YouTube in commentator style and talk about my favorite Death spells. :) Hope you enjoy it.



HAHA! I was over on Twitter and decided to take a song request.  Gracebear19 put it out there that I should do a Beiber song since the last "big hit" was about Selena.  After all the recording was done, Uber Wife said, you know you should have at least had one part where you showed the Selena statue with the words "Y U So Mean" over it.

DANG IT!!!  If I could rewind time, I'd do that for sure.

Here's the full lyrics

Why you so mean?
Ohh ohh
When you block friend requests
And say your friends list is full
Why you so mean?
Hey yeah
When you call us all noobs
And stitch that wig to your hat
Why you so mean?
Why you so mean?
You watch my sigil countdown
Why you so mean?
Ohh ohh ohh
Why you so mean?
30 seconds just to discard
Why you so mean?

You're so indecisive what I'm saying
Trying to find the feint, Reshuffle cards
Don't know if you're crappy or good player
Don't want the group to end
Where do I start
First you wanna go quest then train Sprite
Wanna Commons all day, have a Darkmoor night
First your up then you're down and doing Cyrus dry clean
Ohh I really want to know...

Why you so mean
Ohh ohh ohh
When you steal a wooden chest
Because my rental mount was slow
Why you so mean?
Hey yeah
When you want me to tank
But you catch the agro
Why you so mean?
Why you so mean?
Watch my sigil countdown
Why you so mean?
Ohh ohh ohh
Why you so mean?
30 seconds just to discard
Why you so mean?

I see you casting Satyr just as I’m fleeing
Trying to tower shield but I can't win
You wanna find a boy but you keep begging
You trade me treasure cards, but won't accept
First you wanna go quest then train Sprite
Wanna Commons all day, have a Darkmoor night
First your up then you're down and doing Cyrus dry clean
Ohh I really want to know...

Why you so mean?
Ohh ohh
When you block friend requests
And say your friends list is full
Why you so mean?
Hey yeah
When you don't want me to blade
But you break all of my traps
Why you so mean?
Why you so mean?
You watch my sigil countdown
Why you so mean?


If the creative spark continues, you should be seeing even more YouTube from me! Hit that subscribe button on my channel if you'd like to see more.

Thanks for your time!

Happy Dueling

Monday, December 21, 2015

Ding 110 - the rat is dead

Yup, that's one dead rat.

OVERKILL . . . and special thanks goes out to Vanessa Mythdust and Katherine Light of the Mercenaries for Hire for sticking it out, sharing the strat, and killing the rat.  At the end of the day it's a pretty simple strat, but also a pretty unforgiving one as well. Vanessa tells me she still needs to update the guide after the addition of the Spinysaur hits and the fact you CAN use a healing pet, but if you're looking for a guide, check it out.

And with that, Polaris is done for Thomas Lionblood. MAN, I REALLY LIKED POLARIS! It wasn't too difficult, had a really fun story, and was pretty, uh, chill. (Sorry for that pun.) I'm putting that as one of my favorite worlds of all time.

We met some solid new enemies like Rasputin and this guy . . . Pit Boss Minak, who you get to take down a couple times.

Beware anyone that offers you green crystal implants, Minak . . . it won't end well . . . even if they look amazing under black lights and everyone wants to dance next to you at the club.

I also took the time to grab my new Winged Sorrow Death spell while I was at it -- livestreamed it in fact! Here's the highlight if you'd like to check it out.

Watch live video from Stingite on Twitch

Not too difficult at all. :)

The new camera pans during dialog in Polaris?!  I rate them 10/10 amazing.

Now I need to go back and finish up all my side quests on Thomas and maybe grab a few extra pieces of gear from Darkmoor. THAT, sounds like good Twitch fodder for over the holidays.

Happy Dueling

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Tom and The Dings!

(Tom and the Dings should be my next band name . . .) You blink your eyes and a month has gone by since your last post. HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN?!

I just wanted to catch you up a bit on my gaming life here and let you know I'm all good . . . I didn't die in a turkey explosion over Thanksgiginv. :)

So, let's talk gaming shall we? We shall! First up . . . Star Wars The Old Republic.

Several weeks back someone from the Marketing team said, let's all play Star Wars together! And surprisingly five of us were like . . . I'm in! Well, it didn't work out so good.  Half of us subscribed and half of us didn't, and the disparity in levels caused most to fizzle out and stop playing after a couple of weeks.

I kept playing since I had never really given the game a fair handshake. I mean, I had tried the game, got a few quests into the tutorial, sent a child off to his death as a sith, and said . . . nope nope nope . . . I'm done. It disturbed me, and I didn't want anything to do with the game.

This time I played a good guy making good guy choices, and my experience was much different. This here is Pokétom the level 65 (max level) Smuggler (Scoundrel sub-class) and his wookie companion, Bowdaar. He's a rogue with a heart of gold ala Han Solo. ;)

Oh, he's a joy and a pleasure to look at, my friends. *whistles* Strangely enough he's not wearing his banana pants anymore. (Thank you to my friends who showed up to watch me play SWTOR a few weeks ago over Twitch. The joke is in the link. ;))

Now, as with most MMOs, the "real game" starts when you hit max level, but I'm not heavily invested enough and don't really have the time to build my gear profile and raid and all that, so . . . I'm officially unsubscribed.

I enjoyed my time playing Pokétom to max level, and it was an entertaining story. There were plenty of opportunities for me to make light and dark choices, but I'm definitely a light side of the force type of guy. Between my time in SWTOR and rewatching all the old Star Wars, I will be sufficiently hyped for December 18th when the force awakens and all that. YESH!


Next, I have to talk about Rise and Destroy! I beat level 60!

Wootah! I had so much fun playing Rise and Destroy. I'm still playing it to collect gold and power up my monsters. I was more than happy to provide a couple of play through videos for a couple of my Twitter followers. I don't think I'd spoil all the levels for everyone, and there's more than one way to finish a level, but in case you'd like to check the game out . . . here you go:

I pretty much have to play this game on Bluestacks unfortunately. A few people at my work tell me that's cheating, but listen . . . I can't even play the game on my iPhone 4S. This game is optimized for play on larger and more powerful devices, and I don't have one. I would prefer to play this game on a tablet, but Santa has a long wish list from me and I don't think an iPad is in my near future. ;)

As far as cheap tablet emulators go, I've been pretty happy with my Bluestacks experience.  Good stuff as far as I'm concerned.


Finally, let's talk Wizard101!

I'm late to the party here, but Polaris has released and that means Thomas Lionblood's progression to level 110 can begin again. Last night, Thomas Lionblood with the assistance of my Russian buddy, Boris the OP Storm wizard (and his Glowbugs), hit level 101 in Wizard101!

Per standard Wizard101 play, I'd blade up Boris, feint the boss a few times  . . and BOOM! Zdravstvuyte to the damage, and do svidaniya to the enemies.

I also got a chance to spend some time as our lady Morganthe.

I loved those fights in the Chamber of the Mind! Those were extremely fun, and I loved playing as Morganthe.  Gotta say, my ninja pig healing pet was a super star for me in that final fight. :) Go LADY DEXTER!

I'll be joining you all in Polaris as soon as I can. :)


Hope you're all doing well and having fun with what you're doing. Drop me a note in the comments below and let me know what you've been playing lately and how things are going for you.

Happy Dueling!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Favorite Monster in Rise and Destroy?

Hey all! I got a great question over Twitter yesterday from the one and only Paige Moonshade.

"Which is your favorite monster on Rise and Destroy?"

So, first . . . yes! Rise & Destroy is out there now available for download WORLDWIDE! Today is the official announcement day (as far as the press release is concerned). I'm super psyched for everyone to get to play this now. It's a tough game, but also a lot of fun. Have some patience and determination and I'm sure you'll make it to the end.

Most everyone else at work is farther along than me right now, so the answer is a bit more complicated . . . because out of the monsters that are currently in my inventory (which is only Trevor Wrecks, Frankie Forearms, and Manny Leggs), I would have to go with . . . TREVOR WRECKS!

I think there's a reason they put him as the first monster in the game . . . versatile, all around good T-Rex monster thing, right?! His roar and breath attack are a good combo that gives him some distance. I'm all about ranged attacks.  (You just have to do some extra clicking sometimes to turn off his breath attack sooner than it naturally expires.) Overall, Trevor Wrecks is my guy for wrecking the humans!

HOWEVER, being as I am also the dude responsible for creating all the vines of the Monsters you see on Rise and Destroy's Vine page (we have special commands for unlocking all the monsters and levels in a special version of the game), I have had a chance to play all of the monsters. Hmm, I think stylistically, I'm going to give all the awards to SHARBERUS!

A shark poodle that evolves into a three-headed shark poodle?  And that hair??! Guys . . . that's the definition of winning for me! I can't wait to get her in the live game.

Anyway, I hope you all have a chance to play Rise and Destroy this week and check it out. It's a great game that's completely different, yet still has that KingsIsle touch. :) Good times are ahead for KingsIsle's mobile team in 2015-2016.

Happy Dueling!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Realmsconite, Beachite, Twitchite, Stingite

Heya all!

I just wanted to check in and let you all know what's been going down with TFN. October has already started off super busy, and it doesn't look to be slowing down anytime soon. Who's excited for Halloween!? *raises hand*

Here's what's been going on the past week or two:


Those who were following along with my Twitter account were able to see a few fun things from the presentation that I tweeted out as it was happening. Of particular interest was this cool concept of Darkmoor weapons that MMO Team Lead Designer, Nathan Sumison, put up on the screen during his presentation about what all went into designing Darkmoor.

As soon as I put out that picture, I had a ton of tweets asking for the bow weapon. ;)  I went ahead and interrupted the presentation to let Nathan know . . . THE BOW IS AMAZING!

Jeff and Gary also gave great presentations! I said my two cents as well. ;)

As for Realmscon itself, it was every bit as cool as I remembered from a couple years ago. BobaTom was there. (That's when regular Tom sucks in his stomach and acts like a muscle kid next to Boba Fett.)

I was unable to attend last year, but Nathan did, and Realmscon is quickly becoming a yearly trek for our team. Where will we strike next? I was hearing rumors of Wizard World, but it might have just been the crazed ramblings of Jeff Toney. He does that.


We also took the opportunity to make the Realmscon trip a little family outing for us as well. Port Aransas is simply amazing. Anytime I can put my toes in the water and stare out into the rolling waves, I'm good.

The beaches are clean and the place we stayed at was stellar! (Except for the chilling pool water . . . it was much colder than the surf.)

More like SUNrise and destroy, AMIRITE?!


Well, we had some fun in September, didn't we?  I made a few highlights that are probably worth sharing:

Vanessa told me she's been playing another character on the side so we can stay on the same page in Pirate101. ;) Hopefully we can play some more Pirate101 this month. I'd also like to stream some Wizard101, DCUO, GW2, and Wildstar.


I think I found a MOBA I actually like!! I played a ton of this on our vacation. Call of Champions is by another Austin studio (A couple of original Pirate101 designers work there now btw) called Spacetime Studios.

Then again, I did just suffer a string of four defeats in a row this morning while I was typing this. LOL. At least matches only last five minutes, and I think that's what I like about this MOBA in particular. 

I've been playing a lot as the Avalanche character, but I may switch it up . . . that string of defeats is hurting!


And that's all the news that's fit to print for TFN at the moment. I'm super busy at work . . . so that's always a good sign, right? You know it is!

Happy dueling!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Of Twitch and Sunday Night Games

Hey all! I hope you had a fantastic weekend! I decided to really give *personal* Twitch streaming a go over the weekend (as opposed to the KI Live Twitch stream) and hosted a couple of play sessions on Friday and Saturday.

If you'd like to see the entire broadcasts, I've marked them both as highlights:

First Wildstar stream
First Pirate101 stream

Out of the two, the Pirate101 stream was probably the most fun and definitely the longest. We streamed on Saturday for about four hours. My boys were dancing around and having fun (and even I got into the dancing), and the people in the chat room really made it a great experience for them.


If you don't have four hours to watch the entire Pirate101 stream rebroadcast, I did snag a few highlights from the stream:

Monkey Trust Hugs
The Markiplier Story / Ron Perlman hype
Kyle Skystaff Takes Over the Stream

It was a lot of fun to play with everyone, and Vanessa showed the patience of a saint. ;)

It may not seem like much to the outside observer, but this was pretty huge for me. It took a lot of talking to myself to JUST DO IT! I guess I just finally accepted that my house is a recipe for a trainwreck Twitch Stream . . . and that's ok! Hopefully I'll get a chance to practice more and really get "my style" down.

It sounds like I need to get NightBot for my channel.



The crew decided to get back into DC Universe Online for a bit, so I resubbed for the month and got a few upgrades in the new content. A few things have changed with how loot is distributed, and it seems better--you get a choice between a couple of drops now after big bosses.

I thought about streaming the Sunday Night game and then I realized that my dear friends can sometimes have quite the mouth on them, and I want to keep my Twitch stream appropriate for younger audiences . . . so that's out!

Blighted Redeemer and myself decided to try one the easiest of the new duos, and then the rest of the group played a bit in a four person instance while I sat out. I took advantage of this time to clean out my inventory, try out the new daily solo content, and get reacquainted with the controls. (I also PvP'd Spode between their instances to the tune of 5-0 *flex* and took him down a notch despite my lack of CR. That's always a good time!)

Then I tried the new Zamaron duo because I had hit 113 CR. It was tough, but myself and a random 121 CR stranger managed to finish up the instance and take home the loot. I ended up CR 116 for the night, and just like the guys were saying: it looks like grinding that Zamaron Duo a few times is really the way to go if you want to bring your CR up.

So . . . Looks like we're back in DCUO for a bit on Sunday Nights!


Hope you all have a great week and thanks to those who came to my streams to cheer me on! We'll do it again some other time.

Happy Dueling