Saturday Morning Gaming: Returning to Mordor



Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to

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6 Responses

  1. Avatar DensityDuck

    I do recall an article talking about how it was kiiiiiiinda fucked up that you pretty much puppet-master some slave and make him into your slave that you then use to violently murder hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of his fellow slaves. The article was presented by someone mocking it, like, “lol this tragically woke bro is so upset about a vidjagame” but dude kinda had a point?Report

  2. Avatar jason

    I might have to go back to it. I never put in the time for the original; it came out the same year as Destiny, and I hit that pretty hard. When I did play shadow, I would have a small mob I was fighting that would then drift into another hero and I’d get owned. I should have stuck it out. But I still have to put more time into RDR2.Report


    Do you want a game with depth and demands strategy? Play NetHack.

    NetHack was still version 3.4.3 when I stopped playing around 2010. In 2017 version 3.6.0 came out. Since then the version’s creeped up to 3.6.6 and 3.7.0 is right around the corner and not in the G.R.R.M. sense of “Winds of Winter when?”

    But in those stagnant thirteen years of 3.4.3 there was a lively modding community for NetHack. Sure there’s nothing wrong with vanilla NetHack, even if the graphics are mere ASCII, but one can do with gameplay tweaks like auto-opening doors, highlighting bits of inventory, one’s status and HP, in addition to adding new items and monsters. During my last two years in Colorado I wrote a couple of patches and there are some patches I can not do without while playing this venerable game.

    Best of all, NetHack is free. You don’t have to play with other people. You can’t play with other people. Sure, it can be streamed on Twitch but why bother?

    NetHack is turn-based. No need to pause when you can simply stop gaming, use the bathroom, go eat, spend time with your living partner, visit Costco, and when you return you’ll see nothing’s changed unless the cat jumped on the keyboard.

    And one can download tiles for NetHack if one needs purty graphics. You haven’t lived ’til you’ve attached your computer to your big flat screen TV with a HDMI cable to play NetHack.

    For what it’s worth, my home-rolled NetHack utilizes my platypus patch (adds the platypus, giant platypus, dire platypus, and octopus in addition to the correct pluralization of those animal words), Snakesin (artifact robe for monks, not my patch). My priest patch where any race can be a priest, and monks are given special greetings by shopkeepers much like valkyries, knights, and samurai are greeted. Also my pikachu patch which adds pichu, pikachu, and raichu to the game and pichu can be a starting pet for the tourist class. At the moment I’m trying to figure out how to patch in a jalapeno (confers intrinsic fire resistance, vegan) and a mushroom (confers intrinsic telepathy or causes hallucination, vegan).

    NetHack is difficult. I’ve only ascended once since I started playing back in ’03 or ’04. I’ve begun playing it again in hopes of distracting myself from the current news cycle of panic.Report

  4. Avatar Marchmaine

    Playing Path of Exile… they released a new league at the beginning of lock-down, March 13… so I’m on my third character.

    It’s really and truly free to play… micro transactions are 100% cosmetic (plus a couple QOL items for organizing your stash).

    Over the past 10 years or so, they’ve softened a bit on the whole Diablo II or death motif. Its a lot more fun to play… if you like ARPG Diablo type games.Report

  5. Avatar Brandon Berg

    I pretty much never buy new PC games anymore. In the long run, pretty much everything will eventually be available for $20 or less. Back in the days before digital distribution, this was a risky strategy, because they might stop making it, and if it was a cult classic you might end up paying two or more times the launch price for a used copy.

    Nowadays, though, you can’t lose. I have a functionally limitless list of old games I want to play, so I don’t even mind waiting.Report

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