2024 Convention Plans
Ardwulf's Lair
by Gary N. Mengle
2M ago
After the year’s convention season wraps up, I like to start planning for ]next year’s events. These get slotted into DEFINITE and MAYBE bins, with the understanding that the MAYBE events may end up boing day-trips rather than full convention experiences. So here’s what my 2024 Convention Calendar looks like. And you may find some of this surprising. DEFINITE Events Winterfest Held Feb 16-25 in Sandusky, Ohio Really a club event rather than a full-service convention, Winterfest is my hands-down favorite, top-priority wargaming event of the year. The specific games that will be played tend not ..read more
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We Are 15 Years Old
Ardwulf's Lair
by Gary N. Mengle
1y ago
So this month, October 2022 (and specifically 10/22/22) marks the 15th Birthday of the first appearance of Ardwulf’s Lair here on WordPress. I had actually been blogging before that, on a couple of sites that don’t exist anymore and therefore are impossible to date (and at any rate, this was only a few months earlier). So the first post here is the official hatch date. I was very prolific for several years coinciding with the heyday of MMORPG blogging, but then school, and then work, and then the YouTube Channel all drew my consistent attention away. At first my content over on YouTube was rig ..read more
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ESO and Open Worlds
Ardwulf's Lair
by Gary N. Mengle
2y ago
If you read back into the dim prehistory of this blog, I talked a lot about open worlds, and made no small amount of hay about those open worlds which lack (or mostly lack) load screens. This is still relatively rare among MMORPGs, as we’ll see. But while a lack of load screens removed barriers to immersion, it’s probably a peripheral point. Seems to me that the more important consideration for MMORPGs is actual people out in the world doing stuff. Hilariously, this has always been the nominal objection from Blizzard and its apologists when the subject of player housing comes up. It is undesir ..read more
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The Blizzard Dumpster Fire
Ardwulf's Lair
by Gary N. Mengle
2y ago
Somebody’s prolly gonna ask about my opinion on the current Blizzard… whatever it is. “Clusterfuckalypse” seems inadequate. I’ve worked at a lot of companies, but the stories — stories that have yet to be proven in court, but which are highly credible — out of that place are BEYOND THE PALE. Far, far worse than stuff that would get you insta-fired at even the shadiest places I’ve ever worked. There is absolutely no explanation for the insanity that was going on at Blizzard that does not include negligent and incompetent leadership. As creepy as I think J. Allen Brack is, Blizzard is Mike Morha ..read more
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ESO as Waiting Room
Ardwulf's Lair
by Gary N. Mengle
2y ago
This is 100% a coincidence with my resumption of blogging about MMORPGs (and I might end up blogging about other stuff,) but it is Blaugust. So check that out if you’re interested. The Blaugust Discord server is like a festival of old, familiar names, many of whom are participating even if they’ve been inactive for years, and only a few of which I kept up with. And many new voices in this diminished MMO blogosphere. So anyway. New World’s launch has been pushed back to September 28. On the one hand, this is irritating! But on the other, a month is no big deal and I’d rather have a polished lau ..read more
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New World Forward
Ardwulf's Lair
by Gary N. Mengle
2y ago
The New World closed beta has concluded, and nobody seems to think there will be a further beta phase before it launches, the date of which currently shows on Steam as August 31. I will be playing it at that time. I’m sure that the “new & shiny” factor is part of it, but I found myself preferring play of New World over ESO, the MMORPG that I am currently subscribed to. Although for the record I did play some ESO as well, as the current Pan-Elsweyr event is something I’ve been enjoying (and I love the Northern Elsweyr zone). But even so, I sunk more of my limited gaming hours into New World ..read more
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Brave New World
Ardwulf's Lair
by Gary N. Mengle
2y ago
I gotta be honest, I was sufficiently disinterested in New World to pay it nearly zero attention all this time. But then its open beta loomed and it started getting a lot of traffic on my YouTube feed. And it’s launching at the end of next month. So I started looking at it. About two days later I pre-ordered it (through Steam), giving me beta access. Turns out it’s a pretty different thing than was being pitched a year ago, which is in turn different from what was being pitched a year before that… and so on. The vision for this thing has been though more realignments than my 2005 Kia. And the ..read more
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Whose Story is It?
Ardwulf's Lair
by Gary N. Mengle
2y ago
On a recent Massively Speaking  podcast, Justin mentioned that he’s trying to get through the story in Final Fantasy XIV. Now, FFXIV is a bit of a hot button right now; bigshot streamers are flowing to it from WoW and that’s driving a lot of traffic. By some measures it’s overtaking WoW at least temporarily as the #1 game in the MMORPG space. Briefly, Square Enix sold out of copies. Digital copies. There are technical reasons that make it less ludicrous than it sounds… but it’s still pretty ludicrous. People who did buy the game find that they cannot make characters on full servers, and l ..read more
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The Hill Folk Pursue, Part 2
Ardwulf's Lair
by Gary N. Mengle
3y ago
Introduction:This the second part of the first scene of a larger fantasy story that I’m writing. It should be seen as a work in progress, and I should very much appreciate any feedback. Enjoy! His breath was heavy and labored now. He had run for four hours, two at something close to his fastest pace. Known though he was in his Legion for his stamina, he could not sustain such a pace for much longer. The pursuing war-cries had not diminished, and now they rang out from the south as well, echoing between the wintry boughs. He changed direction when he began to hear the second group of pursuers ..read more
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The Hill Folk Pursue, Part 1
Ardwulf's Lair
by Gary N. Mengle
3y ago
Introduction:This is a small part of a larger fantasy story that I’m writing. It should be seen as a work in progress, and I should very much appreciate any feedback. Enjoy! It was said that the hill shamans commanded the spirits of the weather. Perhaps the tempest that had raged across the Sea of Doorways last night was their doing, summoned from the pit by some bone-white animist. The truth of such yarns the man called Veheruth could not attest. But he did know, with the certainty of grim memory, that the tales told of Yerayka warriors were true — that they cut the hearts from their living f ..read more
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