Well, I haven't got any articles or new material in queue right now so for the moment it's just more of me blathering on about stuff I'm into at the moment (which, as you may have noticed, seems to be mostly a mix of D&D and video games).
My wife and I grabbed Guild Wars 2 this weekend. I enjoyed it, played a few hours, can safely say that the game is very dynamic and does a lot for the MMO design by culling the best concepts from across the board and adding in a distinctly new feel and pace. It's a fantastic game. I'm intrigued to see just how much of the original Guild Wars is in there, in the sense that GW2 plays very little like its predecessor, yet so many bits and parts evoke that Guild Wars style, from the looks (much sharper but still "Guild Warsian") to the soundtrack and general ambience.
I'll talk more Guild Wars 2 later, because this game does a lot to move the entire concept of the MMORPG into the future, but playing it resparked an interest in my other MMO love, RIft, which I also played more of. Rift is more traditional, but it is traditional with some innovative twists, and playing it in contrast with GW2 actually improved my appreciation for it; Rift is dynamic and open world in a different way, with a metric ton of oddities to collect, pursue and figure out, but in a very methodical fashion. GW2 is almost frenetic in its pace, so the more leisurely approach in Rift suddenly feels sort of distinct. The fact that I can't even play WoW for two minutes before deleting the game again is only helping the case for the future of MMOs. There are some very good games out there now, and they all blow WoW out of the water. Forget about numbers; if the discerning gamer prefers quality and substance over volume, there's a veritable buffet of MMORPGs to choose from.
And despite all of the MMO madness I still somehow managed to fit in some Max Payne 3 time (I absolutely love this game, it's storyline is oozing noir and bullet time in the best way possible) and I am methodically working my way through a new Mass Effect play-through, this time with male Shepard, and on the PC (having just acquired ME3 on the Labor Day sale). Also, it's really difficult to play games on the TV while Marcus is sleeping; his room is positioned so he can look through his door (which he is now able to reach and open from his crib) and see the TV. He gets very frenetic when the Xbox is on. Dad likes hearing sound but doesn't have any headphones with a good reach, so its easier to hide in the study where the PC provides more options and is not visible.
(Which means yes, I own or have owned all the Mass Effect games and DLC on both PC and console, making me officially Bioware's bitch.)
I also snagged Mass Effect 3: Leviathan and while its good so far I seem to have gotten stuck on the creepy base with the mind-controlled miners. Can't figure out if I'm overlooking something (a security terminal) or if the game is bugged out on me.
So I had a long bit here about my general dissatisfaction with gaming followed by a bit of clarification that I have bipolar tendencies which often cloud my perspective on things, and sometimes gets in the way of my sense of enjoyment in RPGs. After some thought I realized that this was yet another case of "feeling off" so I figure I'd better just snip that bit away and leave the remainder of the summary as follows:
Read more AD&D Premium books, will comment on lots of interesting bits and observations soon!
My Saturday campaign wrapped up at long last after almost three years, retiring their Pathfinder characters at level 14-15. It was a satisfactory conclusion and I am happy to see another high-level campaign die, albeit spectacularly.
I am tempted to play 4E again but my Wednesday group has talked me into going for a new low level Pathfinder game instead. I'm going to start a new one in Chirak. But I really have an urge to play 4E. I like that system, at least the way I run it. I am continually bothered by the fact that the hobby seems to have run into an outer threshold that won't allow it to grow past a certain point, or at least be accepting of whatever interests we all prefer.
I think, in the end, I'd be happy if WotC also reprinted the core for 4E with full errata and updates, to go along with their reprints for 1E and 3E. That would go a long way toward aknowledging that D&Ders are a diverse lot, even if we ourselves tend to decry the "others" amongst us who are busy having the wrong type of fun.
More gaming articles to come as soon as time permits!