Saturday, August 2, 2008

Goodbye Maztica

I have always had an affinity for the Maztica D&D setting. Sure it was part of the Forgotten Realms and I've never been a Realms fan, but Maztica was still pretty cool. So when 4e was announced I automatically made my desire for a revised Maztica known on the WotC boards. Well it was all for naught as I recently discovered.
There was an article about the Spellplague that ravages 4e FR on the D&D site from back in January, I know I am a little behind but I miss things on occassion, that said :
"Across the Trackless Sea, and entire continent of the lost realm reappeared (called Returned Abeir) subsuming the continent of Maztica."
To me this means that one of my favorite settings will not only miss the 4e revision, it is pretty well dead with no plans or hope for resurrection. Too bad for me I guess there just aren't enough Maztica fans out there. Mabe Paizo will do something Maztica-like for the Pathfinder RPG if there is enough interest... time to hit the Paizo boards.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

More Movie News and Trailers!

NASA Confirms Liquid Lake On Saturn Moon

Read the full original article here.

NASA scientists have concluded that at least one of the large lakes observed on Saturn's moon Titan contains liquid hydrocarbons, and have positively identified the presence of ethane. This makes Titan the only body in our solar system beyond Earth known to have liquid on its surface.

Scientists made the discovery using data from an instrument aboard the Cassini spacecraft. The instrument identified chemically different materials based on the way they absorb and reflect infrared light. Before Cassini, scientists thought Titan would have global oceans of methane, ethane and other light hydrocarbons. More than 40 close flybys of Titan by Cassini show no such global oceans exist, but hundreds of dark lake-like features are present. Until now, it was not known whether these features were liquid or simply dark, solid material.

"This is the first observation that really pins down that Titan has a surface lake filled with liquid," said Bob Brown of the University of Arizona, Tucson. Brown is the team leader of Cassini's visual and mapping instrument. The results will be published in the July 31 issue of the journal Nature.

Invincible Review 2

A while back, before the blog, I did a review of the Image comic Invincible. At the time I had never read the book and only had a handful of issues that I picked up to review, and I was not impressed. I have changed my tune drastically in the past few weeks.
I recently acquired Vol. 1 & 2 of the Invincible TPBs and I have to admit they great. Starting from the beginning enabled me to understand the character better and gave me a new respect for the books direction. Currently I am awaiting Vol. 3 & 4 and I can't wait to read every issue. I have even added the book to my pull list at my LCS, which started with issue 51. So hopefully I will have all the TPBs in the next few months and be up to date with the current story line. I am a little confused about who Kid Omni-man/Omniboy is, which will keep me tearing through the trades until I catch up. As long as the book maintains the quality I've seen in the TPBs I will reamain a fan of this book and have already begun recommending it to friends.

Though I have always had a distaste for Liefield, for some reason I have been a fan of the Youngblood characters since the original issue #1. That still hold true with the new series, which has the team involved in some kind of government conspiracy involving a reality TV show, in which they are the stars. The new book is a little different then the original, but still a good read. This is by no means the best book on the comic rack, but I would recommend trying at least one issue to see if you like it.

Kick Ass:
The name says it all. This is one of my favorite books out right now. It is the story of a "real world" kid who wants to be a superhero. The only problem is that in the real world we don't have any super powers and he keeps getting the the crap beat out of him.
One of my favorite scenes is when the main character decides that he wants to travel like a real superhero, by rooftop. He gets a running start, but stops short when he realizes how far apart and how tall the building are, so he decides to go back to street level and walk. The book is dark, the art is great and the story is one of the best I have read in a long time. I can't wait for the movie.

WotC trims the fat

WotC cancels books : original ICv2 article

Wizards of the Coast has announced a decision to refocus the company’s publishing program on its two core brands, Magic the Gathering and Dungeons and Dragons. WotC’s 2008 publishing program will remain unchanged, but starting in 2009 any book not tied to Magic or D&D will be removed from the publishing schedule.

I just wonder if this, along with the death of Gleemax and the poor showing with D&D insider is a sign that WotC is truly in trouble. I wouldn't get rid of all those 3.x edition D&D books just yet.

Gleemax is Dead

According to several sites, including ICv2, WotC has announced that it is shutting down the Gleemax social networking site. Apparently they got a little too ambitious and found that they did not have the manpower to sustain such an ambitious venture as well as developing their other online inititives. Instead they will concentrate on Magic Online and D&D insider. Given that nearly a year after being announced and almost 2 months after the release of D&D 4e, D&D insider is still pretty useless I would say they definitely need to spend a little more time and manpower getting the supposed cornerstone to 4e up and running.
I visit the WotC sites regularly, including the message boards, but have only been on the actual Gleemax site a handful of time, usually to get to the message boards. I fear that given the company's poor handling of the release of 4e, very poor execution of its online inititives and general bad image in the eyes of gamers, the company needs to start making some good decisions quickly. D&D is an iconic brand and the grand daddy of pretty much all modern gaming, I would hate to see some over ambitous and poorly planned stunts bring down the juggernaut of the gaming industry. As much as I give WotC a hard time for some of their decisions, D&D is till my all time favorite game and it pains me to think that we could see the beginning of the end if they don't get things going in their favor soon.
Of course this could be a sign of good things to come. TSR had its rough spell before WotC bought the brand and reinvigorated the industry, maybe it is about time for someone else to do the same. Or else it could be time for another brand to take top spot in the eyes of gamers. Unlike Chocolate and Peanut Butter, some things just aren't meant to be mixed, maybe table top gaming and the internet is one of them.

You can read the ICv2 article here: Gleemax