Posted in Gaming, MMORPGs

Shards Online Pre-Alpha 3

shardsonline

Almost a year ago exactly (Dec 12, 2014), Shards Online completed a successful Kickstarter campaign. I was one of the early bird backers, drawn in by the oldskool look and feel as well as the promised concept of Shards themselves.

Shards has been running pre-alpha for quite a while, but yesterday was the official launch of Pre-Alpha 3, where backers on my tier are finally able to download and start testing the game!

Now, I can’t really say much because I’m under NDA – though I heard they hope to lift NDA sometime during Pre-Alpha 3. So I can’t share any screens or information about their development or features beyond what Shards Online has posted on their own site.

But I hope that I can safely say that while I didn’t have a ton of time with it last night, Shards gave me a good oldskool UO vibe, though it was wrapped in a much more modern mentality (there are quests! *gasp*). As someone who always wanted to see UO 2 become a reality, and a player who sometimes misses the romps through Trammel (carebear ftw), this may be just the game.

What I’m most excited about, however, is the promise of players being able to eventually create, design and run their own Shards. Bascially, from my understanding, you’d be running your own MMO server with a ruleset and world designed by you. How cool would it be to fashion a world of your own imagination, or build a world that reflects your favorite fantasy story/game/movie/etc?

Shards_mathematicsI don’t know how powerful these tools will be just yet as I’ve only just stepped foot into the official server yesterday, but it has my imagination spinning. I remember coding and running my own personal MUD, along with my sister, over a decade ago… if this is anything close to that, the I know I’ll have a lot of fun tinkering about in it. As well as exploring other people’s worlds!

I hope to play this game a bit more this weekend. And while I can’t say much about it yet, once I can, I’ll certainly be talking about my impressions as Shards develops.

Posted in Blogging

WordPress Desktop App

wordpress-logo-stacked-rgb.png

I’m in love with the new WordPress desktop app for Windows. I just downloaded and installed it yesterday, and I can see myself using it for blogging quite a bit.

I was stoked when I saw that WordPress.com upgraded the functionality of their blogging tools for self-hosted WordPress sites like mine a few weeks ago. It was lacking a number of important options, such as Categories and Tags, which meant I could never fully publish an article straight from their content creation tool – Categories are essential to my blog’s layout!

Now, the most important thing to me is accessability to information about all of my self-hosted sites in one place. A month back, my place of employment has decided to put a pretty powerful web filter that blocks anything that remotely looks like a site dealing with games. This includes a number of blogs I follow… and my own blog.

In fact, most of my creative sites run as a subdirectory of Sygnus.org, which means I’m blocked from about 90% of my sites for most of the day. The only access I have to them, even writing a lunch-break post, has been through WordPress.com.

So, to have WordPress as an app in this situation is even better!