Posts Tagged ‘Prima


Holiday Gaming

The holidays are upon us. As we assemble with others for seasonal gatherings, video games are beginning to become a part of the festivities. So if you have a party coming up, here are a few ideas.

Wii is a natural party platform since it gets people up and moving. Even with the included game Wii Sports, you can have a homerun derby or similar contest with everyone getting a turn with the Wiimote.

Another idea are quiz type games such as Scene-It. The Xbox 360 version comes with four buzzer type controllers allowing four people (or four teams) to answer questions about movies. This game is a hit not only for parties, but also with a family or significant other. I gave this to my wife last Christmas and she, who had never played on the 360 at all, loved it.

For really livening up a party, get the gang back together with Rock Band. Four people can play this at once and it can be really entertaining just watching. Other music games like Guitar Hero and even American Idol are fun for group gatherings.

Bring a little retro to your party with older games you can download from Xbox Live or the Playstation Network. For those in their 30s and 40s, Pac-Man, Dig-Dug, and so forth can be a lot of fun to play. These are fairly inexpensive and you can have tournaments with these classics.

Video games can even be the theme of the party. Have several friends bring over televisions and their own game systems and set up game rooms throughout the house or party location. Rock Band can be head banging in one room while movie trivia is in another and sports in a third. The key is to pick games that partygoers are either already familiar with or can pick up quickly. Be sure have something for everyone. Zombie slaying is not for everyone. You can even make up your own games with a computer, digital camera, and PowerPoint. Trivia games about your guests can be a great way to start the evening. “Name that Baldspot” or “Which couple has been together the longest” are easy to put together and help everyone get to know each other better.

Have a great holiday season and please write to let me know how video games were a part of your party.




A Veteran’s Day Guide to EndWar Infantry


Infantry play an important role on the battlefield of the future.

Infantry play an important role on the battlefield of the future.


Ninety years ago today the guns fell silent all along the trench lines stretching from the Alps to the North Sea. The War to End All Wars was over. Within 21 years, the world would once again be at war. The Treaty of Versailles planted the seeds of World War II. While wars continue throughout the world today, none have compared to the two world wars.



 Tom Clancy’s EndWar is set a hundred years after World War I ended. The units you can command are evolutions of the same units that fought during WWI. It was during this conflict that the tank and aircraft were first used in combat. Artillery and infantry both played a major role at the time. Even though modern tanks, gunships, and artillery are so much more advanced, in 2020, the soldier on the ground still decides the battle.


 Infantry is often the overlooked unit in EndWar. They are actually some of the most important units. There are two different types of infantry units: Riflemen and Engineers. Infantry are the only units which can secure uplinks and then upgrade them for supports. Therefore, you need to have these units in your force when you deploy to the battlefield. Following are some tips on how to get the most out of your infantry.


 Infantry are slow to move. Therefore, load them up in transports to quickly move them to their objectives. Transports also provides protection for your infantry since they are extremely vulnerable to all types of enemy attacks while out in the open. When your infantry are going to fight, make sure they are either in cover or garrisoned in a building. Buildings are great spots for positioning infantry. Both cover and buildings give infantry increased rate of fire and longer attack ranges in addition to providing protection.


 Engineers are excellent against all types of vehicles while they are in cover or garrisoned. They are also fast at upgrading uplinks Riflemen, on the other hand, are best used against enemy infantry—especially Engineers. With some upgrades, your riflemen can defeat any enemy infantry—even if they are garrisoned in a building. Riflemen can also secure uplinks fast.


 Infantry have some very cool upgrades. While Riflemen can get stealth suits and sniper rifles as well as the ability to deploy anywhere on the battlefield, Engineers can deploy minefields and deploy defenses around uplinks.


So next time you are fighting in 2020, focus on your infantry. If you use them correctly, keeping them in cover or garrisoned in buildings, and upgrade them, you will see just how effective they can be.




hammer time

Insider tips to master the Warhammer: Age of Reckoning MMO



This Week: Rank Milestones


An elite influence reward is a good thing in WAR, a piece of legendary armor, even better. We’re all looking to gear up our toons to godlike level so that the next time we run into some innocent joe scratching his head out in the middle of the RvR zone he’ll look like a heap of paste even a squig wouldn’t touch. There’s certainly a lot to look forward to in WAR, but what about those milestones everyone gets just by ranking up? Here are our faves…



How many times have you gone out questing, only to have to return prematurely because your dang bag is full up again? You can’t carry much as a rookie…just 32 slots. There is hope, though. At Rank 10, you get a new 16-slot bag, vastly improving your carrying capacity, and you get others every 10 ranks. It’s worth leveling up just to gain the luggage and the peace of mind knowing you won’t be leaving sparkling corpses out on the battlefield anymore.



Once you hit Rank 20, your life gets much easier, as you can now buy a mount! With a mount you can’t use any spells or abilities, but you travel 50 percent faster, which makes getting around much easier. You buy them in the capital cities, right across from the flight master in the Inevitable City, and to the very south by the guild registrar in Altdorf.


EXPERIENCE RANK 30: Tactics Slot

Actually, you get Tactics slots every 10 ranks, but by Rank 30 you’ve got a kickin’ array that will allow you to customize abilities for many different situations. You can also unlock a Tome Tactics slot and a Guild Tactics slot along the way.


EXPERIENCE RANK 40: Your Ultimate Morale Ability

You should be celebrating that you’ve attained the top rank in WAR! Still, you’ll probably have a lot of prime abilities when you hit 40, and the best may just be your Rank 4 Morale ability. In those long battles where you can build up a ton of Morale, this ability will dramatically turn the tides. It’s rare that it will go off, but when it does, look out!



Far Cry 2 Author Tips

Far Cry 2 Author Tips
1. Weapons dropped by enemies are always in a somewhat unreliable state so avoid them unless in extreme circumstances. For best results, purchase weapons at a weapon shop and pull fresh models off the armory’s shelves with each visit. Once you buy a weapon, an unlimited amount of the same type are always available at armories, and always in mint condition.

2. The LPO-50 flamethrower is a great way to quickly eliminate enemies in assault trucks. Duck behind cover and wait for an assault truck to approach, then when it’s nearby, stand up and douse the vehicle in flames. Due to the vehicle’s open sides and rear, the driver and gunner don’t stand a chance. Just make sure you’re not hit by the truck before you can attack-if you’re spotted, the driver will try to run you down.

Continue reading ‘Far Cry 2 Author Tips’


hammer time

Insider tips to master the Warhammer: Age of Reckoning MMO



This Week: 5 Time-Savers Beginners Need to Know


In WAR, there are battles to win and a world to conquer, but first you have to know how to tie your boots and strap on a sword. With so many choices, what kind of sword should you use, or would a mace be so much better? Take the following 5 tips to heart when starting up your first few characters and you’ll shave hours off your learning curve.



Sword, mace, dagger–it really doesn’t matter so long as you consider two points. One, can your career use that weapon? If you can’t use something, the requirements will display in red, so no need agonizing over that weapon type. Two, what is the weapon’s DPS (damage per second)? DPS is a great little stat that helps you figure out how powerful a weapon is at a glance. Generally, the higher the DPS, the more likely you’ll want to use it. Of course, you’ll want to consider other bonuses on a weapon, especially if you aren’t a melee class, though all things equal, higher DPS wins.



In your starting town, career trainers are the ones that grant you your new core abilities. Don’t leave home without them! It’s tempting to keep going out in the wilderness, completing quest after quest; however, after you rank up, you should always return back to home base, seek out the career trainer and learn your new abilities. Each ability increases your power significantly, especially at early ranks, so you’re just handicapping yourself if you skip them. In a close skirmish where your foe narrowly defeats you, that new ability could have saved the day.



Your stats are your lifeblood. Learn them well to beef up your character and avoid dying repeatedly. Remember, not all stats are created equal for your career. A Bright Wizard, for example, will want to increase Intelligence at all costs to maximize spell efficiency, while a Black Orc would never bother with that rubbish. Study your stats before you start heavily adventuring because, with each piece of magical equipment that drops, you’ll need to make a decision on whether it’s an upgrade or not to your current gear based primarily on the stat bonuses.



I’m sure you know you need maps to navigate around the world, but did you know in WAR they’re an integral part of questing? From the first quest that you accept, your main map (the “M” shortcut on your keyboard) circles your quest areas in red. If the quest lies outside the zone, you’ll see a big red arrow pointing you in the correct direction (it’s then circled in the new zone for you). Gather as many quests as you can and then click open your zone map. Most likely they’ll be at least an area or two with more than one circle indicating overlapping quest areas, or if you scroll your mouse pointer into a circle, you may see multiple quests in the same circled area. Now while you’re out and about you can complete several quests in the same area and save time on running back and forth. As an added neat little effect, your mini-map (top right of your screen) also displays the red quest circles so you don’t have to even go to the main map if you don’t want to bother.



Walking is slow going. Running, only a bit better. Once you get through your first few ranks, make your way out to your local warcamp. These areas are controlled by your faction on the outskirts of the zone’s RvR (realm vs. realm) area, where the action against enemy players takes place. Besides things like renown trainers and siege weapons, each warcamp holds a flightmaster. For a nominal fee, a flightmaster will fly you to a new, friendly zone. Travel time turns from hours into seconds, and you don’t have to worry about hoofing it through dangerous foreign territory. Always check the flightmaster for travel options to see if one of your upcoming destinations is a gyrocopter away.


Hammer Time

Insider tips to master the Warhammer: Age of Reckoning MMO

This Week: Public Quests
Public quests are one of those brilliant ideas that make you wonder how it’s possible that they weren’t part of the first decade of massively multiplayer online games (MMOs). But have no fear, PQs are now part of the everyday landscape of WAR, and we’re all reaping the enjoyment.

If you haven’t played Warhammer Online yet, PQs are ever-present quests in particular locations of the world that open up to you as soon as you enter the area. Think of them as “community quests,” where you participate with everyone else around you without having to track down the storyline from a quest giver. You gain special influence just from taking part in PQs, and that influence gets traded in for some of the better gear in the game.

Each race chapter you play through contains public quests local to that area, usually just a creepy forest or burning windmill away. Everyone has preferences for their characters–you might want to focus on scenarios for renown rep or build up experience for your guild–but you usually want to target the PQs in your area first. Grind them till you have enough influence to max out your rewards, then head out for more quests or a little RvR action. Not only does this help supplement your questing experience gain, but it gives you access to a critical piece of armor or weaponry much earlier than you would receive it with a normal experience progression.

Don’t forget that you can grind public quests even without others in the area. Of course, you gain the most exp (and fun!) from grouping with others to complete the PQs; however, in those off-peak times when you just have to pile on some influence, head out to your local PQ anyway. Public quests are generally divided into three stages: 1) Soloable content, such as slaying 50 critters; 2) Party content, where you usually have to fight off champion-level bad guys; 3) Raid content, or a big boss who’ll stomp all over single characters and smaller groups. If you’re the only one in the PQ, you can clean up on the first phase and complete all the requirements for big influence. You can even attempt the second phase, so long as you dodge the tougher opponents and complete some of the other objectives (possibly destroying objects or rescuing NPCs). Forget the third phase–you have no prayer. Exit the PQ during the third stage and go do something else for 10 minutes. All PQs reset after a certain amount of time, and you can repeat your influence-farming ways until you master that chapter.


Tom Clancy Thriller? No, it’s the news

While the world’s attention was focused on the sensational Olympic opening ceremonies in Beijing, Russian tanks were rolling into the former Soviet republic of Georgia. The Russians claimed they were protecting the ethnic Russians living in South Ossetia, a region in northern Georgia, from Georgian forces who had moved in to punish separatist forces. Let’s go back a bit to see how this all came to a head. When Georgia declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, the people in South Ossetia shortly after tried to become independent from Georgia. Fighting erupted and finally Georgia and Russia signed a peace treaty where South Ossetia remained part of Georgia, but Russian peacekeeping troops remained. Russia also issued Russian passports to the people of South Ossetia, essentially making them Russian citizens.


What set off the recent conflict is that Georgia launched a surprise operation last week to restore its control in South Ossetia. This was all Russia needed to launch a full scale invasion with their forces that just happened to be at the border. In addition to driving the Georgian forces out of South Ossetia, Russian troops advanced into clear Georgian territory to capture the town of Gori which is located in the middle of the country along the main east-west highway. Furthermore, Russia captured Georgian military bases and sank a Georgian naval vessel. Russian aircraft bombed the Georgian capitol of Tbillsi attacking not only military targets, but also civilians.


From my point of view (I have a degree in history and military history as well as teach high school history), Russia was just waiting for an opportunity to move into Georgia. This former republic has become very friendly with the west and the US is working with it to include it in NATO. Russia, which is becoming an economic power due to its oil reserves, has taken a back seat since the end of Communism and under the leadership of Putin, who by the way is no longer president, but still pulls the strings, has tried to regain its status are a world power with which to be reckoned. Other former Soviet republics are also leaning to the west. It appears that Georgia may be Russia’s example to the rest. Russian foreign policy has often been heavy-handed, especially when dealing with smaller countries. Now it looks like Putin is taking a page out of Al Capone’s tactics from 1920’s Chicago.


As for Tom Clancy, it is interesting that part of the premise of the upcoming game, Tom Clancy’s EndWar is that Russia, gaining power by exporting oil after trouble in the Middle East, starts World War III in order to regain its supremacy in Europe. However, with the US busy in Iraq and Afghanistan, will the west be able to support Georgia? Or will they let it fall to Russia just like France and Britain let Czechoslovakia fall to Hitler’s Germany (which also began as protection for ethnic Germans)? Time will tell.








loreology: wights

If you’ve got a memory like an elephant, the old saying goes, then your noggin’s in good shape. Mine, when challenged under the gun, tends to shoot blanks. I’m a research kind of guy, not a living, breathing almanac…. Each week “Loreology” will unravel the mysteries behind something in gaming that I may have known once and completely forgot, or something that I should probably know and cram up into my nearly full brain cavity.



This Week: The Wight Stuff


I never knew if these guys sported a rib cage like some skeletal graveyard reject, wavered insubstantial like the spirits of the past or looked like something else strange and unearthly. What were wights? I remembered that barrow-wights from J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” were corpses with corrupt souls that bound them to the world to continue with their evil deeds, and wights in the D&D Monster Manual had this vicious power to drain the life essence out of their victims and turn them into fellow wights.


Turns out the word wight comes from Middle English and means “living being” or “creature.” Perfectly generic to confuse us even further. A wight can also label a being from one of the Nine Worlds in Norse mythology, especially a nature spirit or ancestor. The English Channel’s famous Isle of Wight, by the way, has nothing to do with our creature wights, though that would be a crazily disturbing sight if it did, like something straight out of 28 Days Later.


Wights are a fascinating part of fantasy history that aren’t as fleshed out (no pun intended) than some of their famous elven and faerie brethren. Dwarves, goblins, dragons have become canon in fantasy literature; not the wight. They’ve only shown up as bit players on the fantasy stage. And that’s probably the way they like it, left to their own horrible devices in secret lairs beneath the earth. It’s enough to make a Balrog envious.


loreology: the hydra

If you’ve got a memory like an elephant, the old saying goes, then your noggin’s in good shape. Mine, when challenged under the gun, tends to shoot blanks. I’m a research kind of guy, not a living, breathing almanac…. Each week “Loreology” will unravel the mysteries behind something in gaming that I may have known once and completely forgot, or something that I should probably know and cram up into my nearly full brain cavity.



This Week: Hercules’ Headache


Today I found myself playing two MMOs with similar names and the same, dangerous creature: the hydra. World of Warcraft, the current reigning champ in the online gaming arena, and Warhammer: Age of Reckoning, an upcoming dynamic challenger, pit the multi-headed monster against you, though the hydra stamped me into the muck in WoW‘s Outlands mires and roared through elven mountains in Warhammer.


Most of us know the Greek myths of the hydra. The poison-breathing, multi-head-chomping beast guarded the entrance to the Underworld in some stories and fought Hercules as one of the Twelve Labors in others. It’s the offspring of Gaia, and the sibling to other impressive beasts like the Chimera and Cerberus. I didn’t know that the hydra is also a stellar constellation, a record label, a Transformer and one of the most sinister criminal syndicates in the Marvel Universe (okay, I did know that last one, comic geek that I am).


In some tales, if you cut the head off a hydra, it grows back–or even worse, it grows two to replace the one. Call it super regeneration, or, to tap into my comic geekness again, a super healing factor that only Wolverine can dream he had. Neither of the hydras I faced had a whiff of regeneration, and it’s a good thing or I’d still be hacking my way to salvation.


4-D Video Gaming

How would it be to actually be inside a video game? Rather than sitting watching the game on a video display, what if you could actually hold the weapon you were firing, ride inside your vehicle, and shoot at actual targets. Even better yet, you could earn a score and use it for bragging rights.


A few years ago, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters appeared first at Walt Disney World and then at Disneyland. As both a Disney and video gaming aficionado, I found this attraction a lot of fun. The strategy guide author in me of course had to learn which shapes where the highest scoring targets—the triangles and diamonds are worth a lot more than the squares and circles. And if they target is lit up, you earn even more points. This game is literally a rail shooter. You can turn your spaceship around in order to aim at the targets which are located on aliens, robots, and other objects. What makes it even cooler is that you can email a photo of yourself in the attraction along with your score to your home account, and then forward it to your friends to show what an awesome space range you are. I must admit, my “top ten” score photo stayed as the background on my computer for several months.


If that were not enough, Disney has done it again. Today, Toy Story Mania opens at Disney’s California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort. Like Astro Blasters, this is another shooting gallery attraction. However, this time, you don 3-D glasses and shoot at targets with a spring-loaded weapon which makes it feel like you are actually firing a carnival type game launcher. While you have 3-D graphics, what does the 4-D mean? As a Prima Games author, I have taken it upon myself to find out for you. I am going on assignment to discover the fourth dimension. Watch for my blog next week when I return to report.


If you have had the opportunity to experience this Disney attraction, please let me know what you thought about it.

October 2021