RPS Asks: Have You Ever Smurfed? If So, Why?

A great joke

Reading through the new Ask Riot thingummy where Riot employees will address common League of Legends [official site] questions, the very first question looks at the practice of smurfing. This is not the process of dying yourself blue and donning a Phrygian cap as some sort of pre-game ritual (although I now have a new feature idea – GRAHAM!).

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A Naïf In Neverwinter Nights: Exploring Roleplay In An Erotic Fantasy Server

Role-play has always been a curious concept to me despite spending half of my life believing it was little more than adults wearing fake armor and speaking in phony English accents. When I became obsessed with pen and paper RPGs, I forced three of my friends to try Dungeons and Dragons. Our awkward adventure was akin to four naive boys going on a journey, finding a dead body, and then never talking about it ever again.

But last week I discovered that Neverwinter Nights, the classic 2002 RPG, is not only still popular but also home to dozens of serious role-playing servers. Digging deeper I found that many of those servers are “adults only,” hinting all too plainly at what kind of desires they catered to. I couldn’t resist. What could this virtual Sodom have that was so compelling that people would spend time in a decade-old RPG just to experience it?

I needed to find out.

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Honouring Dishonored: Celebrating Three Little Details

A couple of weeks ago I was teasing splendid Kotaku writer Jason Schreier after he tweeted describing Dishonored as “still underrated.” Underrated?! The PC version has a Metacritic rating of 91! There’s only one score (or “rating”, you might say) under 8/10, and that review is silly. This is one of the most highly rated games ever!

Since I’ve started replaying it, once again attempting to rescue the young empress from an evil regime, I keep thinking to myself, “Man, this game was underrated.” Sorry Jason.

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Wot I Think: Warcraft: The Beginning

When it comes to the Warcraft movie I have a foot in both the insider and outsider camps of viewership. I haven’t seriously played a Warcraft game in over ten years and it was never a key part of my own life but I do write about the franchise and hold on to memories of some of the main characters’ comings and goings as well as knowing what it meant to friends. That’s the vantage point from which I’m writing this review.

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Hitman Episode 3 Isn’t A Riot – Yet

You can’t start a revolution in Hitman‘s Marrakesh episode, but Lord knows I have tried. Seeking to create the impression of a brutal state crackdown, I’ve dressed up as a soldier and opened fire on the crowd from a checkpoint. I’ve lugged cans of propane right across the map, dropped them near placard-waving civvies and blown everybody up with a silenced pistol. I’ve sucker-punched foreign officials, hurled bricks at marchers – done whatever I can to transform the level’s outpouring of public discontent into a full-blown civil war. And for my troubles I’ve been treated to an efficient, orderly death and the sight of a dozen, so-called leftwing firebrands cowering in terror as the army closes in. Honestly – is it any wonder you radicals are sweltering beneath capitalism’s golden hoof when one little blast cloud is too much to bear?

If Marrakesh isn’t quite the open world insurrection simulator I was rather unrealistically and very callously looking forward to, it’s an absolute playpen for fans of the game’s Contracts mode.

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Cardboard Children – Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower 1

With the release of the new Warhammer Quest from Games Workshop – full name “Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower” – I thought it might be good to do a deeper exploration of what it is to go deep into a new Games Workshop game. Buying something like Warhammer Quest (isn’t it exciting that there’s a new Warhammer Quest?) is not the same as buying your average board game. First of all, it’s a bigger investment. Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower retails for 95 pounds. That’s not a game you buy on a whim – that’s a commitment. And with that commitment comes a lot of work. Because as any fool knows, Games Workshop products aren’t just about play. They’re about construction, and painting, and that’s why the whole Games Workshop thing – encapsulating Warhammer 40K, Age of Sigmar, and many more – is referred to as “The Hobby” by fans of the product.

The Hobby. If you want to play a new Games Workshop game, you’re going to have to dip into The Hobby. Come with.

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