Month: October 2012

Happy Halloween 2012!

It’s that time of year again where ghosts, ghouls, zombies, vampires and teenage mutant ninja turtles roam the streets demanding treats else you pay the price with a prank! To top it all off some of us have the additional fright of howling and invisible hands knocking things over (thanks Sandy) to make the season all the more scary.

If you’re missing out on any of those things chances are you can get in to the season in an online way: if you’re not a regular Team Fortress 2 player then you might not know about the Scream Fortress Halloween Event (do I have to remind you that it’s free?) – this stuff is brilliant with new maps, wizards taunting you, floating eyeballs and of course, yes: zombies. It’s an amazing reason to fire up the title again and you’ll have no problem finding the new content at all, you can also probably pick yourself up a few treats in-game with crazy hats and other goodies to rot your teeth. TF2 isn’t the only title with seasonal add-on content over these days, I know I was in on a fight with the Mad King in Guild Wars 2 and was thrilled to receive a 10-slot bag (and other stuff) for my effort, there’s also downloadable Hillbilly Horrors for those still playing Killing Floor, a Pretty Scary Update for Minecraft and surely a few more things out there!

So whether you’re bobbing for apples, carving pumpkins, putting fake blood on your face, decorating things in black and orange or just collecting TF2 hats we hope you have a great (and safe!) Halloween — feel free to comment below and tell us about stuff you’re doing, have seen or like (or hate!) about the season — ooooooooooooooo!

Lend me your sword! – Chivalry: Medieval Warfare on Steam

It was only once I really understood that my sword was effectively represented in three dimensional space and that I should treat it as such by winding up and moving my “body” along with it that two things happened: 1. My KDR shot up, 2. I suddenly wanted to write about this game on our front page.

I don’t know if this is so much a review as it is just a little chatter about “indie” developers Torn Banner Studios and their Chivalry: Medieval Warfare game that’s recently hit Steam, you see, I think it’s interesting on a few levels:

You’ll find game play examples/videos in a lot of places and I’d encourage you to check out a video first anyway, but in a nutshell: it’s a melee combat game: swords, shields, bows, arrows, a lot of yelling, decapitation, bashing and, of course, a medieval setting. Certainly one can draw similarities  to titles like Pirates Vikings Knights, Mount and Blade, Dark Messiah, the recently released War of the Roses and even smaller releases like Zeno Clash and the original Age of Chivalry (HL2) mod that this is based on. With different game modes like Free For All, Team Death Match and Team Objective (which includes some pretty awesome objectives including killing royal families, pushing carts with disease-ridden bodies, breaking down castle walls with rams, etc) it’s already a pretty compelling buy if you like the idea of putting on your chain mail and learning some new moves against online opponents; the setting is right, the sounds and overall feeling make for a cathartic experience and the price is right.

A Hunger Games Weekend and TF2 News must have somehow re-entered some of our players consciousnesses and in a bit of a crazy coincidence we find ourselves hosting two Hunger Games themed events in two different games this weekend. Both of them are really short and both are open to non-members as well so use what little time you have left to try to join up and possibly pick up some prizes while you’re at it!

First up on Saturday at 3pm Central Time (that’s 4pm Eastern and 9pm UK time) join @Pockets as he leads this very unique (has it ever been done before?) server-wide chase event to great treasure in Guild Wars 2.

The rules are rather simple:

  • Follow the leader to the end, first one there is the winner
  • If no one can survive the gauntlet then the last one standing wins
  • Everyone is to run fresh new characters out of the tutorial zone
  • No exploits allowed, moving or otherwise

With a prize of 10 gold for 1st and 1 gold for second I wouldn’t be surprised if there ends up being a swarm at Southern Watchpost Waypoint, Norn City on the Crystal Deserts server!

For those seeking the ultimate Hunger Games experience you can check out our Minecraft event on Sunday hosted by folks like @Crystal with additional efforts from @Essexboy and friends to literally place you in to a survival situation which will have you in a box with a timer and then dropped in to a hostile environment where only the last standing person can claim victory. Complete with some custom, home grown maps, item drops and other goodies you will get as near to an authentic Hunger Games experience as you can! Test runs have already taken place and beta events have been a great success (it’s even more tense played this way, I had a blast!) so get in touch with the organizers (or stay tuned here for updates) to find out how to get involved.

Speaking of birthdays, has it really been nine years?

Partly because people ask me to do it and partly because I like reminiscing in the past, every once in a while (funny enough, usually around this day) I go about telling a little story from the past.

Nine years ago my older brother got me playing Desert Combat, a modern warfare mod for Battlefield 1942. He had also found a nice group of people in this clan called Crack Clan 42, tagged {cc42}, and he tried to get me into it as well. So I looked it up and based on what I could tell, they seemed like a decent bunch so I figured “what the hell”.

To apply to join I wrote what my present self could only describe as the noobiest, most juvenile and downright embarrassing forum post I may ever have written (I was 14 at the time). It was also one of the best posts I’ve ever written. Just a few days later this really (and I mean really) old canadian guy calling himself “dox” set me up with a Teamspeak 2 account, while at work (due to time-zone differences) and actually took the time to chat with me a bit. Back then he personally handled every application by a personal interview, which I might add I passed (seriously, no sense of judgment at all). On a not completely unrelated note he did at that interview, on account of that I am Swedish, mention this cool video with a bunch of people calling themselves “Getaway Stockholm” that he was going to send me. He never got around to doing that. Which is cool, because thanks to the release of youtube a few years later and its ever growing userbase, I found it myself.

And so began my time in the one clan that’s kept me around for 9 years.

During these 9 years I’ve had crazy amounts of fun. I’ve played all sorts of games ranging from FPSs like DC, Red Orchestra, Team Fortress 2 to RTSs like Company of Heroes or RPGs of various kinds. Just a few moments ago I got minecraft gifted to me because a bunch of people here thought they had to get me into it and they simply got tired of my relentless attempts to avoid it (as I know it’s going to ruin my life 😛 ).

But has it all been about the gaming? No, not by far. As I am currently in the middle (figuratively speaking) of my Master’s program in Biochemistry at the Stockholm University, I have little time (or energy) to play games. Yet I still hang around in mumble, just hanging out and chatting about all sorts of crap while doing whatever I need to get done by the computer, just like I would if I had some friends over, except I don’t have to actually put up with their ugly faces 😉

A lot of this may not seem so special, we do it everyday with lots of people and as the internet and people’s home connections grow larger and better, it’s almost routine. But considering for how long I’ve been doing this with the same people, and what impact they’ve actually had on my life not to mention the amount of good memories I’ve accumulated with them over the years, the realisation that “holy crap, it’s been yet another year” only gets more and more amazing for every year.I’ve gone camping with these people (I admit it was at a LAN, but it was too damn hot to play games anyway). I’ve talked about politics, philosophy, science and other vaguely interesting topics with them, I’ve made films with them (both serious scripted in-game recorded ones and less serious ones where we just mess about with random shit) and beyond everything else, I have laughed myself to tears with these people. I pretty much see them as a second family by now, having more or less grown up with some of them, and I usually pop in whenever I just have had enough from studies, work and whatever else life may throw at me, just to catch up on things and get a few laughs out (and if time allows it, some gaming).

And these people are you guys and if you don’t feel you can be included into the group which I’ve described above, it’s just because we’ve barely interacted (if at all)… yet! And I have so many stories from the past of this clan to tell from my years here. By now, almost everything can be turned into a story. Like my avatar. It’s from back when I was new when we (the members at the time) had this fun idea that we’d all have avatars with skulls in them (I think we inofficially even called ourselves “Skull squad”) and although I at first wore one made by another member, I eventually got interested in photoshop and designed one myself, from scratch. Just another sign of the influence the people here have had on me. A lot of my hobbies, both past and present have been either acquired or developed (or both) thanks to them.
And it’s really all about those little things, which I hope I will enjoy more of in times to come. Until then, thank you all for sticking around so that I have reason to do the same 🙂