Tag Archives: community

Warmachine Wednesday – Finally, Trolls Updates!

It’s finally happened! The playtesting happened in July (as I discussed on the Trollbloods Scrum podcast), the 4-6 weeks to wait for changes to existing models… took slightly longer than 4-6 weeks. Though they did talk to us and apologize about the delays, they did not entirely explain them – but to be fair, there are a lot of moving parts. When a change comes out, they are updating the free database of rules cards online, the paid War Room app (which includes army list building functionality that all has to work), release a patch notes, and that’s all after internal playtesting and editing… oh, and doing other things for the rest of the game, as well.

I think that now that the changes are live, all is forgiven, and maybe the online community can stop wishing this day would come… it’s gotten pretty toxic as time has passed.

Also, this hopefully means that the many people who seemed to be slowly dropping out of the faction – or the game as a whole – because of where Trolls seemed to be ending up will return!

For me, I’d been having fun and doing alright before this, but quality of life improvements are always welcome – especially as others around me have been getting those. And with my second army still not exciting me, the fun has to come from Trolls, so making sure those stay fresh and fun is important.

No, what matters more for me is that once we knew the changes were coming – and, through the open playtesting, knew roughly what they would be (the final product was very close to the last that we saw in playtest) – I lost a lot of interest in playing the “live” rules. I wanted the changes, like so many of my compatriots, and didn’t want to play the clunky old versions of things.

Really, it’s just nice to finally be here. Thank you, Privateer Press. I think this is what the Trollbloods community needed to not just be growing in salt and bitterness. It’s what was needed because Trolls haven’t been winning tournaments. It’s what’s needed because it fulfills the promises of the new edition, and the open playtesting in the Community Integrated Development.

It’s a good day to play Trolls!


The Wit and Wisdom of the Lumineers – Throwback Thursday

One of my favorite blog series I’ve done is my “Listening to Music Without Understanding It” series over on Sourcerer. I thought I would reblog it here for Throwback Thursday over the coming weeks. Enjoy!

One of the most interesting bands I have found in recent years is the Lumineers. They are hard to describe in a few words, hard to nail down to a genre or style. iTunes describes them as “front porch Americana.” Not a bad start.

I want to consider a few of the great traits of this band, to share with you what I like about this band, and to share why I think you they deserve a listen – if you haven’t already! Their eponymous first studio album came out in 2012, so I’m at least hoping there’s more to come from them soon.

In the meantime, this is a band from Denver, and I’m from Denver, and it would be neat to see them play there sometime! But for now, my sense of the Lumineers.

A Sense of History

One of the things that stands out about the Lumineers is their sense of history. They sing songs set solidly in the past, and seem to capture some of the feeling from the time. They tap back into the Roaring Twenties, World War II, and Vietnam.

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Pokemon Go – Where Is It Now?

Last month, we had three great posts about the new big phenomenon – Pokemon Go. I’ll include a link to each of these at the end of this post. But it’s been a month and a half or so of the game now… where is it now?

I think it’s lost a lot of people, certainly a lot of daily constant play and obsession. It certainly lost Holly and I. On the other hand, I know of people (like podcast hosts I hear from) who are still playing, or in fact one at least who hasn’t returned to podcasting yet because of the game.

In many ways, it sounds like an incomplete game, with plans for future features. During this time, they were working on rolling out internationally and dealt with some of their big initial problems. It’s like the initial release of a game like World of Warcraft – big group expecting it, big group at the start, more than they expected. And the growing pains to go with that. We got into that game much later, which is a good time to get in, because those early growing pains can be difficult.

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Pokemon Go – Gotta Catch the Socialness!

My daily commute takes me through Pioneer Courthouse Square (in Portland, Oregon). During both the weekday morning and evening commutes, unless there’s a specific event or protest going on, there usually aren’t too many people just hanging out. A few tourists, perhaps a few people taking a break in their evening, but mostly those hours see the bustle of commuters on their way home from work.

Last week, though, I encountered something completely different. One day, in particular, there was a pretty decent sized crowd of people sitting on the steps. There were even people gathered around the small ampitheater off to the side. Most were looking at, and swiping at, their phones. Many of them were playing Pokémon Go.

With three PokéStops (with Lures active on them most of the time), and a Gym, it’s a good place to set up camp. And, from the way the colors of the Gym were changing quickly, it was clear some teams had come together to try taking control. I saw people smiling, laughing, occasionally cheering, and staring at their phones in intense concentration. Mostly they were in clusters of two or three, but sometimes those groups were larger and a few seemed to merge into much larger groups as people realized they were sitting alongside teammates.

Most of this group has found their way to this Pokemon hub to play a bit on their lunch breaks!

Most of this group has found their way to this Pokemon hub to play a bit on their lunch breaks!

The game has its faults, certainly, but there are also a lot of great things about it, and I’m really enjoying watching the social aspect. It’s been an awesome tool to get people to come together in a social manner. A number of restaurants and businesses are starting to offer perks to Pokémon Trainers as a way to encourage them to come and stay a while (and, of course, spend some money). Even the National Park Service is getting in on the game!

The game actively encourages the players to go out and move, to wander around in search of elusive Pokémon and then come to certain, central, places to interact with other people who are in that same location. While the concept is certainly not new it has become so fiercely popular that the groups gathering are more noticeable. In the short time that the game has been out it’s already made a difference – a visible difference – in the way that people are acting in and interacting with their world.

I’ve seen families out on Pokémon gathering walks. I’ve overheard conversations about the game occurring between people who would not normally be interacting with one another.

A mother and daughter spending some time at lunch hunting Pokemon

A mother and daughter spending some time at lunch hunting Pokemon

At my local parks I’ve seen more people of all ages out and about in the beautiful weather than I’m used to seeing. I’ve joined a local Pokémon Go group on Facebook and a variety of events have already been organized.  It’s amazing the places that this game has been making an active difference.

I know that I’m not the only one making these observations, there are so many anecdotal accounts, people sharing their stories and the ways that they’ve already been seeing community growing and coming together because of the game.

I love hearing these stories. It’s awesome to see technology serving to help people get out and build bridges between each other — especially in this time when there are so many divides being built between us.

Do you play? Have you experienced the game bringing people together at all?

Geek 501 – Geek Where You Are

geek 501

I feel like the massive explosion of geek culture in recent years – to the point that it doesn’t feel like a counter-culture anymore – is due in large part to the Internet. The Internet allows geeks to find each other, allows fans and fandoms to find each other. It allows for our expressions of geekiness to be found by others, for us to be creators as well and to have an audience. It allows niche and obscure things to have a large following, because the whole following can potentially connect together.

However, I’m also frequently reminded of how important it is to have a local focus, even as we geek. Let’s go with an example.

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