Vanir’s New Year’s Gaming Resolutions (2011 Edition)

Since the new year is almost upon us, I decided perhaps I should give a look to how I would like the entertainment portion of my life to function over the next year. This past year, aside from a few bright spots, has been kind of a giant bag of crap for me (especially for my gaming life), and I want 2011 to be a lot more fun. Like, 89K amusement units at the very least.

So, without further ado, here are my Gaming Resolutions for 2011.

  1. Play Alliance
    For my entire WoW career, I’ve only played Horde (with a brief 20 minute moment of weakness as a Night Elf when our server was full). It was sort of fun to get caught up in the mock-jingoistic impulse to have a fictional enemy, and all my friends were playing Horde. So, I just sort of  I wasn’t even crazy about putting together an Alliance-based deck in WoW TCG. I’ve never seen Ironforge or Stormwind (even to raid it). Considering that 99% of the joy I get out of playing WoW comes from the story and the lore, this seems dumb. There’s lots of new Worgen content to do, and I’ve always wanted to see what Gnomeregan looked like.Besides that, I really don’t like Garrosh Hellscream, and this is my way of rebelling against the new Warchief.
  2. Play More Board Games
    Since our regular D&D group has been broken up for awhile, game nights tend to be few and far between. It’s hard to get anybody to play a one-shot D&D adventure, and for some reason I’m finding it difficult to get people here excited about Gamma World. Board games have been filling the void, and I’ve been exposed to a lot of neat stuff I hadn’t seen before. SmallWorld and Ticket to Ride have been some big favorites, and I enjoyed Ascension the one time we played at lunch. I’m going to try and keep an ear out this year for new and cool stuff to try out.
  3. Drafting
    I love the WoW TCG so much. But I think we’ve drafted maybe once. When I tweeted this year about buying a box of boosters and hearing one of my followers lament about all the wasted drafting potential, it did strike me that I could have been getting some extra value out of this stuff. This could also let me get more into Magic: The Gathering, since I’m not sure I want to lay out the kind of money it takes to build a constructed deck right away. There’s always so many cards I almost consider a waste because they aren’t so good in a constructed format, and I keep reading about strategies for drafting and it makes my brain drool. There’s not much WoW TCG available in our area outside my circle of friends, but there is organized Magic all over the place. Might be time to check it out.
  4. Tabletop Roleplaying – FUTURE STYLE!
    I find myself lamenting frequently that my gaming group broke up and I miss them and playing D&D so much, and yet I live in an age where doing such things remotely is not only possible but getting easier by the day. With stuff like the D&D Virtual Table, I don’t have much of an excuse. It is time to begin pestering people to play over the intertrons. Prepare yourselves.
  5. The Next Generation
    My son will be 3 this year, and he already knows how to plug one of those TV-game joysticks in and turn it on. He knows what a joystick does and that a button fires your blasters. He is ready to begin his training, and I could not be more stoked. But I have to figure out what’s appropriate for him, both for content and for what he’ll find fun and reasonably challenging at his developmental level. If you’ve guessed that my column is going to have a lot of this subject in it next year, you get a cookie (redeemable at next year’s Roleplaying Therapy for the Severely Disturbed at Gen Con).
  6. Gaming Responsibly
    This might sound a little weird, but I’ve taken a lot of steps this year to try and take a little better care of myself. One thing I find myself doing a lot is putting off bedtime until 2 or 3am because I’m having fun playing something. Then, the next day, I am useless. This is dumb. I can find a way to schedule my life and make time to do the stuff I want to do, even if it’s not as much as I’d like. There’s stuff that’s worth it, and stuff that isn’t, and I don’t need to collect 75 dragon scrotums on my way to level 85 all that badly.
  7. Have As Much Fun As Possible, And Don’t Be Afraid To Say Something
    Over the years, I have played too many bad games to completion and stayed in obviously dysfunctional D&D campaigns for months after I should have left. I intend to stop doing things I don’t like, and to be honest with people when I’m not liking the situation. Life’s too damned short.

There you have it. I hope all of you have a safe and happy new year, and may your initiative rolls for 2011 be high!

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  1. Play Alliance? Noooooo!

    As for gaming responsibly, it can be nice. But I find life is better with the occasional dragon scrotum collecting spree.

    Happy new year, Vanir!

  2. Great list! I think my gaming resolutions include more D&D (of course), learning to use an online gametable (like you), and going “off script” more often when I DM. For most of my DMing life, I’ve played living campaigns where the adventures are very much on the rails, and I’m just beginning to discover how much fun improvisation can be in an RPG.

  3. Hey man, you can combine numbers 2 and 5 🙂

    There are a few really good games for kids around that age that won’t drive you nuts to play as well (for the umpteen millionth time). Check out “Gulo Gulo” and “Animal Upon Animal” for a good start. These have been a huge hit with our four year old.

  4. Aye gaming responsibly is a big one at my house. Far too often we get superinvolved in either rock band, fable, or something else and next thing we know its midnight and we have to get up in 5 hours.

    Most recently this happened when we broke out Fluxx on Monday after I had gotten it for Christmas. I suggested Fluxx because the wife and sister wanted to play a game but the wife and I had to get up early. Fluxx seemed like a much better option than Ticket to Ride, Arkham Horror, etc. Well, 5 games later and it was after midnight. :p

  5. I went through a similar dilemma with my friends three years ago and, after demoing and purchasing just about every virtual tabletop available since then, I have found that Fantasy Grounds is my tabletop of choice. I’m a member of the WotC software, and it has a way to go to compete. Start with a stable platform now, like MapTool or Fantasy Grounds, and when the WotC tabletop is out of beta and has had a few revisions to bring it up to parity with the hacks people have made into the current gen of VT’s, switch over. Don’t wait for WotC to meet your VT needs. It could be a very long time.


  1. RT @criticalhits: New Critical Hit: Vanir’s New Year’s Gaming Resolutions (2011) by @direflail