Grimm MOBA Delayed and Release Date Announced

Surprising absolutely no one, Stephen Oravec is quite behind on his next novel, Grimm MOBA.

He’d like to assure the world, however, that progress is being made. As the fate of this company rests on that particular book, we can with some scheduled determination announce that the Kindle edition of Grimm MOBA will be released on August 29, 2019, with the print edition following in October.

We’d like to thank everyone for their patience. Should Stephen Oravec fail to deliver the manuscript to us this May for editing, we will have no choice but to feed him to the Sarlaac.

The Sarlaac Pit
Image source: https://www.starwars.com/databank/sarlacc


Grimm MOBA: A Novel

After spending quite an amount of time in development hell as a graphic novel, GRIMM MOBA is finally coming late-2018 as a novel by Stephen Oravec and published by Cablepunk Press.

As planned, this will be the first story in the Grimm Arena series which tells the tale of the gamer Elle as she competes in the virtual reality game Grimm, a fairytale-inspired multiplayer online battle arena.

More information will be forthcoming here in the following months!

A Return to SWTOR

2018 began with my return to BioWare’s Star Wars: The Old Republic. While I had issues with the game when it first released in 2011, and while I still think it’s a buggy and clunky game, it does have some good qualities, namely: the storytelling, Force lightning, and lightsabers.

Khem Val did not survive Quick Travel. It's not a bug, it's a feature!
Khem Val did not survive Quick Travel. It’s not a bug, it’s a feature!

In returning to the game, I first focused on leveling my Sith Sorcerer to endgame, making her my first character to actually reach endgame. During vanilla, I quit before I ever made it to level 50. The current level cap is now 70 on account of the expansions over the years. Fortunately, leveling isn’t the chore it used to be. Class missions now give an enormous amount of experience enabling you to skip most other quests. Then, of course, there are the Legacy perks and subscriber XP boosts. Planets now scale you to their level, ensuring you’re earning XP no matter where you are in the galaxy.

Additionally, the game has had many quality of life improvements since it first released. The Legacy system of 2012 was a great improvement, but what I’m particularly loving now is the mission terminal which not only has all the heroic quests, but also shuttle passes directly to them. The XP is incredible, and the gear you get for completing those heroics is for your actual level, not scaled-down level, which makes gearing to level 50 unproblematic. As a result, I’m currently leveling ALL advanced classes.

Put your clothes back on, Harvey.
Put your clothes back on, Harvey.

Flashpoints (aka dungeons) now have a story mode which you can solo with a companion and with the assistance of an amazing battle droid which is easily the best tank ever. Consequently, I’ve been able to play through various operations by myself, fully enjoying the story without having to spacebar through cut scenes, and to explore every nook and cranny of the flashpoint map while getting those bonus missions done.

This forthcoming story, this planned series of posts, is about leveling my all-new Sith Warrior. While I love my Sith Sorceress, sometimes I just want to battle with a lightsaber, and the Sith Warrior easily fulfills that.

Overcompensating.
Overcompensating.

With Legacy perks, an obsessive-compulsive desire to complete EVERY quest, and a recent bonus XP week to coincide with game update 5.7, I managed to reach level 45 before ever finishing the Prologue and leaving Dromund Kaas. At level 59, I was ready to leave Balmorra, but I continued on with that planet’s bonus series and was level 62 before I ever touched down on Nar Shaddaa.

Currently, I’m questing, advancing the story, and tracking down datacrons on Nar Shaddaa.

Unlocking Nar Shaddaa's yellow datacron.
Unlocking Nar Shaddaa’s yellow datacron.

Catch me live streaming Star Wars: The Old Republic and more on the Cablepunk Press Twitch channel!

Memories of Hyrule

Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild continues to wow and impress me with its huge world and Captured Memories quest.

After exploring Hyrule a bit more and filling in a fraction of the map via the Sheikah Towers, I headed back to Hateno Village to finally repair and restore my Sheikah Tablet.

Breath of the Wild
Breath of the Wild’s world is vast.

To fix my Sheikah Slate at Hateno’s Ancient Tech Lab, I had to bring a blue flame from down the hill and across a brook to the furnace outside the lab. Fortunately, I was able to light some lanterns with it along the way to relight my torch because every time I stopped to talk to some villagers or pick some apples or, say, fall off a cliff while trying to get an awesome screenshot, the torch would go out.

Breath of the Wild
Running the Olympic Torch.

I figured restoring the Sheikah Slate was going to be no big deal. Indeed, once it was fixed, all I got was a Camera Rune. As I had been taking screenshots constantly while on the Switch, I didn’t see how this feature was a big deal. Purah told me to take pictures of beasts and whatnot to add them to the slate’s database, and I’m just thinking this was all a bunch of busy work.

However, Purah wanted me to go meet with Impa back at Kakariko Village, and Impa actually gave me something interesting to do. Twelve photos previously taken on the slate by Princess Zelda had been restored, and I was told to find those twelve places in the world to regain some of Link’s memories from 100 years ago. Pikango, the traveling painter, pointed me in the direction of one of the pictures, but I knew the location already because, in typical open-world fashion, I HAD ALREADY BEEN THERE.

Breath of the Wild
A wellspring of memories.

The ensuing cinematic showed Ganon’s return during a meeting between Link, Zelda, and the Four Champions 100 years ago. There was some point about Zelda unable to cast some spell after meditating on a mountain or something, but I didn’t quite catch it. The Princess, however, vowed to not seek shelter but to fight, and by now the game has established repeatedly that Zelda is in Hyrule Castle keeping Ganon at bay. This event has added some urgency to the game, which I like. Until this point, the game wanted me to solve some puzzles in some shrines and win back the four Divine Beasts from Ganon’s control. This recollection of Zelda and the Champions added some “human” and personal elements to Link’s quest, and the game would have been served better if this plot point had occurred far earlier in the game, like the first time Link arrives in Kakariko Village. Granted, I’m the one who went off exploring, but why the need to separate Kakariko and Hateno villages anyway? I explored both villages in the same gaming session and found it odd then that they were so near one another, and the quests have just been a back-and-forth between Impa and Purah. Fortunately, there’s quick travel to the nearby shrines, but still.

Breath of the Wild
Ganon returns.

On returning to Impa in Kakariko Vilalge, she had apparently been rummaging through her closet and found Link’s Champion’s Tunic from 100 years ago. I don’t understand why, if she had had it this whole time, she couldn’t have given it to Link earlier in the adventure. I had already bought and upgraded a tunic equal to it in stats. Why I needed to recall a memory of wearing it before she gave it to me is just bizarre.

Breath of the Wild
Ready for adventure in the Champion’s Tunic!

So while I have some gripes with Breath of the Wild‘s story structure, I am still overly impressed with the game. Recovering Link’s memories through finding the places in the photographs is the game’s greatest narrative strength at the moment and should have been introduced into Breath of the Wild way earlier. The freedom to explore a vast world and the short but oftentimes challenging shrines found along the way make for a fun formula.

You can catch me live streaming Breath of the Wild and more on the Cablepunk Press Twitch channel!