./thade --about --verbose
I’m Thade (rhymes with “spade”) and I once blogged about my Warhammer Online archmage experience in a forgotten place, Archmagery. I am a gamer by most definitions I’ve heard (board games, table-top RPGs, and a long history of video games) but I’ve started rejecting the word because, seriously, it’s only used to champion some really toxic agendas these days. It might be better for us to leave it behind.
I’m also a software engineer: the kind that shapes the raw ether of seething bits with his hands (C/C++). Maintaining ancient undocumented code is a weird and hard thing to be specialized in. But, it pays the bills.
Wait, so do I capitalize “Thade” or what?
Sure, go ahead. Unless you don’t want to. I’ve seen people italicize, bold-face, or even underline my name in an attempt to make it stand out as a name, which is what the capital letter is for anyway. I don’t capitalize it where it’s used most…which is for forum nameplates. Why don’t I capitalize it? Because I use Linux and it’s forever tainted my vision of the Shift key.
Okay, so I’ve seen other Thades. Are you the real deal?
I know, I know. You’ve seen many imposters. Well, don’t worry. It’s me. I am the Thade that blogged on Archmagery, I’m the Thade on the XCOM forums, and I am the thade that appears on bolterandchainsword.com. I even have the most content-light Youtube channel ever. I have shown up a few other places as well, but sometimes people take the name “thade” (had I known it was a damned monkey and not just a cute concatenation of phonemes, I’d have taken something else) and I am forced to name myself something else. Let this be a lesson to you: Google your name-to-be before you use it.
What I’m playing currently.
- Vermintide. It’s classy and fun. A nice iteration on the L4D-style co-op vs. horde game. When the “special zombies” (rats) can lay down suppressing fire with a Gatling gun, and YOU have no ranged weapon, well…things get interesting.
I think since I’ve logged nearly 900 hours in XCOM across EU, EW, and LW, that means it’s my favorite game. I’ve put similar hours into Minecraft, which cost me $10 as I picked it up in alpha.
MMOs I’ve played
My blog used to be only about MMOs, so here’s a list of the one’s I’ve played, in case that’s what brought you here.
- Wildstar – It’s pretty. It’s pretty good. It’s a slow ascent from “mildly interesting and low commitment” to “potentially very interesting and likely huge commitment” and it’s just not my cup of tea anymore. Also, over-the-top objectification of women. The Grizzled Cowboy Leader’s wife is stuffed into the fridge (blown up to give the cowboy leader motive) and much of the female armor is all shapely and cut in unnecessary ways. Two steps forward, one step back.
- Guild Wars 2 – So briefly maybe it shouldn’t be on here. By “briefly” I mean “like two weeks” and “kind of regret buying it.” It’s done a very, very impressive job on engendering co-operative play, but it’s another pretty coat of paint on a now tired, bloated genre. It’s not you, GW2; it’s me.
- Tera is an embarrassment. I played a single day in beta and was offended, and not just by the rampant objectification of women. The gameplay was trite and boring.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic – This game was great; fun story, remarkable instances and events, and the best co-op MMO-style combat I’ve yet seen. ” I really have no complaints about this game; I just crave variety in a far more potent way these days. Gone are the days where a single game will do it for me. Also hurts that – during my extended haitus – many people I played with grew tired of it and moved on.
- Diablo 3 – Is not the failure that Starcraft 2 was. It was fun, co-op, for a short while…but quickly fell down under the weight of the auction house, which basically made playing the exact same maps again and again for loot seem even more needless than it actually was. They’ve hosed the auction house but…yea, I’m not going back.
- The Secret World – Only in beta. And man, was it bad.
- EVE Online – It is as complicated as advertised with a massive, nigh unforgivable barrier to entry. Most sites recommend that you plan out your skill training for the next year of real world time. The scope is vast and impressive, but it’s also brutally slow. It takes very long spans of time to accomplish anything or get anywhere; I may seek out PVP and not find it for days…or I can jump into League of Legends and experience PVP right the heck now. Sorry, EVE. You are not for me.
- RIFT – Fledgling healer in a fledgling game. Excellent gameplay; very organic. I dig the whole OMG A RIFT ON MY HEAD scene. My character was overwhelming (so many spells and abilities) that I honestly couldn’t keep track of her and got bored.
- World of Tanks – I no longer play this: after they launched and revealed both their pricing model and that you can only play with two of your friends at one time, I’m starting to feel about it the way I do about Allod’s.
- World of Warcraft – Healed through most of the LK’s house on my tankadin-turned-healadin; didn’t bother with Cata. Loot management – even after all the raining tokens – and angry people still make me sad when I think back on WoW. I did tank Loot Reaver on a Prot Paladin before people thought it was possible; and I didn’t lose agro. Not even once.
- Warhammer Online – Played this on and off for a span of six or eight months, as is depicted on my former blog. It was the best MMO experience of my life for its first two months. Best memory: me and several guild members charging into a keep and ousting a bag-guy brigade that had us outnumbered 4-to-1. Proof that coordination, solidarity, and solid tactics were meaningful in that game (at least at the time).
- Champions Online – played a super-man-type flying robot character. Super fun for the first month and a half…fizzled.
- Allods Online – simplistic and boring. Then it REALLY jumped the shark with it’s early micro-transactions shenanigans.
- Star Trek Online – Awesome, but a once-a-week (or less) kind of a deal. Too repetitive for more focused play.
- LotRO – I beta-tested this. I had a blast with an Elf Loremaster (sorry, Syp) but got sucked back into WoW as I recall. Tried it again recently. It’s more about reading than action (literally, every quest dialog is huge…the game is many, many novels worth of text) and that’s not what I’m into with my games. I read. I play. I keep them separate. Not for me.
- Star Wars Galaxies – played at launch for three weeks…it was fundamentally boring.
- Hellgate London – some people count this. I don’t. It was terrible.
- Diablo 1/2 – the hours I lost to these games may know no bounds.
Other regular vices
- Warhammer 40k: I have painted and penned the back story for my own Space Marine chapter. I am about to paint another army (GK). I’m actually repainting my current army. I love this game.
- Warhammer Fantasy Battles: I’ve got a LOT of dwarves on my workbench who are still in need of painting and assembly before I can try this game out. I’m excited but they’re my art project, and careful painting is very slow going.
- Dungeons & Dragons: I refuse to use 4th Ed. if only because I don’t want to buy a third set of books. 3.5/3 are bad enough. I still have my 2nd Ed books…the art was WAY better in those. I like the general setting, but hate all DnD rulesets I’ve seen. (Yes, I have seen 4th.)
- Shadowrun: I love this ruleset, I love this setting. Tolkien + Gibson. I know Mr. Gibson hates it, but I lub it.
- Star Wars RPG. Much like DnD, I hate these rulesets. I hated West End’s ruleset. The 3 and 3.5 equivalents are a mess. Saga edition is “okay”…but really it’s just the d20. I don’t like the whole linear system thing; Shadowrun has spoiled me with it’s fancy bell curves. That said, despite all Lucas has done to the series, I still look back fondly on roleplaying sessions had under these systems…because I had a lightsaber and mind trick, and those go a LONG way in NOT fighting at all.
- Steam. The amount of games I own and play on Steam is irresponsible. Some recent favorites are the L4D series, the Mass Effect series, and the Dawn of War games. Basically all of them.
If you got this far, you may be wondering one thing: if I hate all those rule sets for role playing games, why do I play role playing games? Because I play it for the role playing. I hope you do too.