06 November, 2009

Keepalive: Borderlands, Walkthroughs, DnD

written by Blain Newport on Friday, November 6, 2009

Our Borderlands group has started up again. We've instated two new rules. No "farming" (reloading the game and opening chests to get better gear). And friendly fire is on. So far it's been fine. It does mean that my character's power (which causes a burst of damage around me) can only be used on rare occasions. But because of limitations like that, I'm using powers I didn't bother with before.

Walkthrough recording is keeping me pretty busy. I'm producing roughly 25 minutes of video daily. That means recording (usually multiple takes), rendering, and uploading to multiple locations. It's a lot of time. I enjoy it, but sometimes I finish playing a game at night and realize I've got hours of stuff to do before going to sleep. That can be daunting.

Boo hoo. I gave myself one responsibility in my whole stupid life. :P

I also need to spend some time writing a backstory for my D&D character. We've been playing on Wednesday nights for 3 weeks now. I'm new to 4th edition, so there's a fair amount to learn. And I'm playing a "controller" wizard, which is a fair bit different from anything in previous editions.

To try and add to the novelty, I picked a weird new race (Deva) and class that nobody used in older D&D (illusionist).

The Deva are spirits that came back from living with the gods of good to walk as men and fight evil. When they die, their spirit is reborn (with faint memories of previous incarnations). Unless they succumb to corruption. Then their spirits come back as monsters. It's an interesting character to play, and I get to do a funny voice.

The illusionist class, by contrast, is even more pointless than it was in old D&D. Previously illusionists had weird spells with weird effects that were often of dubious value because the second your opponent realized you were an illusionist, they could attempt to disbelieve most of your effects. It was a difficult to play, guile based class. In 4e, illusionists have the same damage dealing spells as everyone else, they're just described differently. They should never have created the class in the first place if it plays just like every other class.

But it turns out the character class I'm really playing (wizard) is fun enough. I've made a point of choosing spells that let me make trouble. I can push and pull people a bit. I can create fields of force daggers or dark tendrils that hurt anyone in them, encouraging them not to go certain places. Plus I took a special ability that makes my fields of unpleasantness really big. It's fun, social, and gets me out of the house.

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