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When I played Neverwinter Online, the absolute best feature was the Foundry. Anyone could use their free account to make amazing adventures with objectives, loads of lore characters, giant monsters reskinned as kobolds, snarky questgiver text, and more.

Yeah, the main quests were nice, but if you weren't looking for [specific loot item] the Foundry had a lot of variety since it was all user-made content.

Granted the system was buggy as heck, with spawn points on solid rock clipping you into the void and monsters running away or refusing to spawn, but even then people made some really cool things. You could even get tipped Astral Diamonds (The higher end currency that was not a real money equivalent but closely tied to real money) by other players if they really enjoyed your adventure.

Then people started gaming the system.

"Here's a Foundry Quest where a lot of non-ranged mobs are corralled in a pen, use your ranged attacks to level up with lots of XP!"

That was an easy fix, they let non-ranged mobs jump to a player. Many people found out the unimaginative XP Grind maps were now a lot harder when 100 spiders all jumped out of their cage to say hi.

"Complete this quest in seconds by clicking on that thing right there!"

Foundry quests used to reward you with green or better loot, but after speed questing became a trend your only reward was vendor trash. There was also an average completion time requirement or your Foundry creation was penalized. I forget exactly how.

The creative use of game mechanics didn't stop, so eventually Cryptic just ... turned the Foundry off.

I kept playing for a bit more, but that took a lot of the fun out of the game for me.

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I still may not be interested in playing Diablo Immortal, but I appreciate their "Orb Debt" strategy if only because it seems to be inconveniencing just the right people.

There aren't many strats meant to punish/prevent bad behavior implemented by companies that manage to do that.

New video on Book of Jen!

In this one, I attempted to complete things for the Hungering Moon event. Didn't quite finish it in time. This event tends to repeat, so maybe I'll do better the next time it appears.

image description: A purple-ish box says "NEW BATTLE PASS". Words below it say "Season 4" with dates the event started and stopped. A row of boxes below that show shiny rewards the player could potentially earn.

"I don't think it counts as shredding if it's smooth jazz."

I'm not sure WotC can make a case for TSR's content harming WotC's reputation, especially if TSR can prove the trademarks expired, but TSR seems to be trying to hurt their own reputation.

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Wizards of the Coast files lawsuit to stop publication of tabletop game, alleging trademark violation and ‘reprehensible content’

WotC is suing TSR LLC, which is a newer company named after the original TSR and cofounded by the son of Gary Gygax.

That TSR was reborn sounds cool ... until you look into the content they're attempting to make.

(Don't click the "No Hate in Gaming" link unless you're ready for some of the worst racist, sexist, etc. content.)

"I learnt it in a Beano annual."

"I learned it from the shipping forecast."

"Well, there we go, we all have different routes to education!"

"This isn't one, by the way."

"Was the fish used as a shield?"

"What, with the fish in one hand, and a swordfish in the other, squelching forward?"

"Yeah ... or a pike."

*groans from the audience, an expletive from someone on stage*

I don't like that real life gets in the way of a D&D session.

But that's real life.

I'm still glad to have friends I can hang out with.

Are your adventurers crawling through a dungeon? Going through a forest trail? Entering a dragon's lair?

Oh, there are soooo many maps you can use.

Is your party going to a timeshare presentation in order to take advantage of their offer of a free lunch?

Not as many maps for that, oddly enough.

"There's a difference between a fairy godmother giving the hero a magical sword and a fairy godmother contracting the Fairy Corps of Engineers to blast the evil emperor's doom castle with a whimsy-powered railgun."

New episode of Shattered Soulstone is up! Episode 376 is called "Short Show" - for reasons!

Talked about Microsoft and the UK's CMA, Sony being upset at Microsoft regarding Call of Duty, Crunch, and another California lawsuit against GameStop.

Also mentioned update on Diablo II: Resurrected, and mentioned one "whale" who doesn't want to pay his Diablo Immortal "orb debt".

image description: A large crystal shatters into small pieces. Above it are the words "Shattered Soulstone"

Someone please build a cross-platform, immersive, procedurally generated, co-op enabled world where the only objectives are to pet cute animals.

"The despair of 400 people in front of me. That's what my puns are worth."

"A small portion of our audience are post-MP3."

"Why would you post an MP3 when you could email it?"

"... out."

"How many queens were alive at the time to be the Queens' Derby?"

"And up front it's Elizabeth! It's Elizabeth the First in the front!"

They even reference an "And this one is wet, and this one is wet..." bit.

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Elekk: Gameing and Other Delightful Pursuits

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