Monday, August 31, 2009

End of the month.

I've been enjoying the Champions Online headstart thus far, and am looking forward to seeing how the game handles all the non-preorders tomorrow when the game is officially released.

The game is fun, looks good, runs like crap and still has bugs, everything you want from a MMO at launch. My only concern would be that I am not sure if I could see myself playing this game for a long amount of time, but for now I am having fun.

So now comes the hard decision, I have too many MMO's and I need to trim down, which one's do I keep, and which do I cancel...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Wouldn't you know it...

I was just thinking today how I have posted more this month than I have any other month since starting this blog. I don't know why really, it's not like I have anything really interesting to say, but it could be that I am a bit more dedicated to at least getting off my butt and just posting something.

So when I was looking at the number of posts for each month, I noticed that I started this blog last year, August 3rd to be exact. And what is funny is that my first post was about my Age of Conan review I did!

Well I've done it, I have finally written another review. Sure, it comes about ten months after my first try at a review, but that's alright.This review is for the MMO Age of Conan, you can find it here. I want to thank the good people at for helping me with the review as well as posting it on their site.The game has plenty of issues, but I still find myself enjoying the game. I feel guilty about that because it's not really that good of a game. It's not WoW or EQ2, both are much better games with far more content, but I want to play AoC.I think it boils down to a few reasons; the graphics are pretty, I love the combat, and it's a low fantasy setting unlike the two games I mentioned earlier. You won't find any elves or dwarfs running around here.Maybe I'll go back to Lord of the Rings Online...

What I find interesting is that I am currently playing AoC, and loving it, and I do have a sub to LOTRO as well. I have played so many MMO's over the year, and I am playing the two games that I mentioned a year ago.

I am not as popular as many of the bloggers out there, and I rarely get a comment, and I am fine with that. With great popularity comes great responsibility and scrutiny! But to all those who have checked out the blog or have left a comment over the year, I say thank you. Hopefully this coming year I might have something more interesting to say, but I doubt it!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Headstart has begun!

The Champions Online headstart began today, and even a little early as I was able to log in around 0930 this morning. The cool thing is that there will be an event for the duration of the headstart up till the actual release of the game. I was able to play some before the server booted me off, maybe it melted from all the players trying to log in at once, who knows.

There were a few last minute updates to the game including raising the XP from mob kills, something many on the forums were asking for. But I did notice that some bugs carried over from the beta into to the live client. Still, I'm having fun.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pyramid of the Ancients part II

I have finally found something in Age of Conan that has made the game not fun, Amun-Keket from the Pyramid of the Ancients. That fat tard has owned my ass more that my wife in the last few nights, I actually thought I might have a coronary tonight!

As you fight your way through the dungeon, you will pick up four items that will help you ward off a certain attack that he performs, which ward to use is dependant on what buff he has cast on himself. Starting art %100 he will have his unholy buff, at %75, %50 and %25 he will switch to a new buff. But even if you are using the correct ward, he will use the other attacks as well, the buff just allows him to hit with massive damage.

My problem is that I seem to take some real heavy damage even if I am using the correct ward. But as I look through the combat log, I can not tell what it was that would make my health drop so fast, making the whole encounter very frustrating indeed!

On a good note I did make level 40 tonight which I am really happy about. I love this game, but holy crap do I need to take a small break after tonight! So with Champions Online head start kicking off tomorrow, I think I will give AoC a rest for at least one night.

Pyramid of the Ancients

The other day I told about my venture into the Treasury of the Ancients, now I get to go into the Pyramid of the Ancients. The nice thing is that PotA is a solo dungeon, and it's right at my level which a great thing.

First impression is that the dungeon is big, very big. It also has some boss fights that make you actually think, something I have not had to do much yet. Because of this I got my tail kicked a few times last night from the Cult Spellmaster and Amun-Keket himself.

I was unable to defeat Amun-Keket last night, and when I logged back in today to try, the dungeon had reset itself, so I must clear out the mobs again, something that I don't mind doing as it will be some nice XP.

I did happen to take some screenshots, so if I will at some point post those with the results of my second venture into the Pyramid!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Cryptic Makes Good!

No sooner did I make a post about Cryptic dropping the ball with the discount subs and they make an official announcement that they have reinstated the discount subs with no limits till August 31st. Check out the official announcement here.

I think this is awesome that Cryptic has done this, and I do hope that those who may have been put off will be able to now finally be at peace.

Hot potato, hot potato...

Well the hot topic on the blog'o'sphere happens to be Champions Online. More specifically the some what debacle with the Lifetime and 6 month subscription offers. In a semi-weird move Cryptic decided to offer these two subscriptions as a limited time only, presumably till the game launched on September 1st.

But then suddenly a couple of days ago word came down that there were only limited Lifetime and 6 month subs left. That announcement was met with some anger, but not nearly as much as when the announcement that there were no longer any more of the special subs left.

Personally I think Cryptic really screwed up on this one. If the subs were limited in number then they should have said something. And I also think that all the heat they are taking is warranted, and I also can understand why there are people who have decided to boycott the game.

I am not happy with the way things transpired, but I am going to go ahead and play the game anyways. I sort to have to because I agreed to do a review, but I am also having fun playing the game as well.

But I will say this, I do not blame those who have decided to not play the game because of this.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Treasury of the Ancients

After being out of town for a few days last week, and with all the Champions Online playing I have been doing, I realised that I had spent very little time in Hyboria. So Friday night I decided to take a break from everything and log in some time with my HoX. I try to gain one level during each play time, and so far it has worked, but I am sure there will come a time when the leveling will slow down enough that I won't be able to.

So when I did log in I was level 37 and I had just returned to the Kopshef Province to turn in some quests. I had spent a large amount of time in Aquilonia, so I was glad to be back in my home country! After turning in a few quests, I was able to get one that would take me to the courtyard area of the Pyramid of the Ancients. A few quests later and I was on my way to an are called the Treasury of the Ancients.

Two things I noticed when I first went in, it's a small dungeon, and there are a whole lot of statues on either side of the main hall. As I made my way down the hall, I noticed at the end of the hall there was some barrier to the main chamber, and I could swear that the statues were watching me as I was making my way down to the end.

I made my way down to the end of the hall, and nothing happens, at least I though so. I turned around to head back out and noticed that two of the statues are now blocking my exit. What proceeded next was a gauntlet of statue fighting, at first it was one, eventually the came in pairs.

Many of the dungeons I have done thus far are ok, but nothing that great, Treasury of the Ancient was awesome. That was the most fun I have had in AoC to date, and that was a solo instance, so I can't wait to try a group instance now!

My only regret is that I did not take any screenshots. It's too bad that people gave up on AoC before it became the game it is now, something I did, because it is a great game now.

Just a few Champions thoughts.

I have been playing the heck out of Champions Online these last few days. For the most part it feels polished and it alot of fun. But it's not great. I do not like the graphics much, and disabling the so called comic style black outline really helps, as does turning of the post processing.

The super powers are all pretty cool, but the descriptions in the tool tips couldn't be more confusing. Some powersets are strong, and many are pretty weak, the PvP stinks, once you get out of the tutorial you are thrown into a second tutorial called a crisis zone, and the frost travel form is the worst travel form ever. I also think that the character creation options are a tad limiting. Yes there are literally hundreds of combinations, and I am sure that most people will disagree with me.

Those are few things that I don't care for much with the game, but even so it is fun and I am liking it. I think I am going to go ahead and do the six month subscription seeing as how it is so cheap.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

What a week...

Man what a busy week this has been, but after today I can look forward to three days off, muuuuaahahaha. In the real life realm, my Dad and I traveled up to Eureka, CA on Wednesday night, and then on Thursday we cleared out my Mom's storage unit. My Mom passed away eight years ago and I have been paying on the storage ever since. Changing around work schedules, driving around 700+ miles total, loading and unloading a 16' box truck with stuff, and all the while trying to play as much Champions Online as I can has made me a bit tired. But the week is almost over, and I am really thankful for the help my Dad gave me this week.

On the gaming front you've got info coming out of Gamescom, Blizzcon this week, and of course the Champions Online open beta. I did resub to Warhammer Online last week, but that is looking like bad timing because I haven't played that nor Age of Conan at all this week because of the moving and Champions. I am suppose to get a review copy of Champions from Atari, but I am still on the fence as the whether or not I will play after the first month.

September will be busy with Champions, Aion, NHL 10 and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, I love it!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Who Knew?

Turns out that Gamescom is the happenin' place to be right now with all sorts of announcements and game footage coming out today. I'm sure the most talked about announcement came from Sony with the news that there will indeed be a PS3 Slim model priced at $299, and that all other models are being discontinued and prices slashed to the $299 price as well.

None of this is a surprise, but it's a welcome announcement and goes under the category of 'FINALLY'! Is is enough to get me to buy a PS3, maybe, but I was really hoping for PS2 backwards compatibility. I have begun to collect PS2 games that I have wanted to play at one time or another and wouldn't it be nice to not have to have a separate machine to play them on, oh well.

Check out Gamespot's coverage on Gamescom here.

Age of Conan: Rise of the Godslayer

Funcom has finally announced the first expansion to AoC called Rise of the Godslayer. A few things to note is that the game does NOT raise the level cap, added is the Empire of Khitai along with the race Khitans, and a slew of content from 20-80.

I love that the game doesn't raise the level cap and the added content as well. But I had hoped that maybe Funcom would add some of the lands closer the three already in the game, like Nemedia or Shem, maybe perhaps a collection of the tiny lands that surround the areas in the game. But needless to say I still like it and look forward to the expansion, and an A0C version of the far east can't be all that bad can it?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Busy Monday.

Today has turned out to be a busy one on the gaming front. On the beta front Aion wraps up its sixth closed beta event, and two more go into open beta status, Champions Online and Fallen Earth.

Speaking of Champions Online, the NDA has been lifted and we are now all allowed to talk about what we as testers liked or did not like about the game thus far. I will put together some thoughts I had while I was testing the game in a few days maybe. What I will say now is that I hope the open beta client runs better than the closed beta client.

And how about the announcement of Everquest Next? I know that EQ2 is going on it's five year anniversary, and it has aged really well, but is it time for a new Everquest? SOE has done a great job making EQ2 a great game with the release of a ton of content with expansion packs and free game updates, but why a new Everquest? Two possible reasons could be that with the release of every expansion came a level cap increase, so instead of going higher, why not start fresh. I also think that a new game allows for a new graphics engine, one that will look a bit more modern in comparison. EQ2 looked great five years ago, but the graphics are becoming very dated when compared to MMO's out today.

Like I said, busy for a Monday.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

My Coming Soon List!

I decided to make a list games that are going to be releasing this holiday that I will be buying. It's more like a road map so that if there is a game coming soon then I might want to pick up the pace to finish what I am playing now, that kind of thing.

So here it is:

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 and NHL 1o on 9/15
Dragon Age Origins on 10/20
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 on 11/10
Assassin's Creed 2 on 11/17
To be honest I thought there would be more games on that list. There are two other games that I am a little interested in, Section 8 and Batman: Arkham Asylum both coming in September. I guess I better get finish with what I have going now before the new stuff shows up.

Friday, August 14, 2009

You're so vain...

I was playing Titan Quest:Immortal Throne the other day, and during my play time I looted a magic chest piece of armor from a mob that was nice enough to give his life so that I can have it. I looked over the stats and they seemed decent so I decided to equip the chest piece.

At that point I couldn't tell you if it was truly an improvement because it was such an ugly piece of armor that I quickly took it off and sold it to the nearest merchant. Then it hit me, I've done this same thing in other games as well. Just recently in Age of Conan I purchased a set of armor that I wear when in towns for looks and my normal armor for when I am out adventuring. Back when I would play SWG, I would always have a set of combat clothing or armor and a set for when I was just doing mundane stuff.

So is it ever ok to not wear a piece of armor or clothing because it just plain looks bad, or is that just taking things a bit to serious in a game?

I must not be the only gamer who thinks this because EQ2, SWG and LOTRO have what are called appearance tabs. The appearance tabs allow you to customize your look without taking benefits of the stats on the items should there be any.

Now if only I could make what I wear in real life match like I try in my wife would like that.

This is a test.

I was just sitting here at work, and I had this wacky idea; what if I could somehow link my blog to my facebook page, crazy idea I know. One way was to add the blog feed to the notes so whenever I do post, a note will be published on facebook because of the feed.

Then I saw this app called Blog It in the apps section, so I thought I would give it a try. At the moment it seems that I can type a post for the blog from facebook, but what happens after I post is a mystery. So here goes, if it doesn't work like I was hoping well there's no loss but a few minutes of my time!

EDIT: The test was a failure. So I will stick with the notes option that I first mentioned. We now return you to your regular scheduled blog reading...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hearts of Iron III Inital thoughts

I have been waiting for this game since it was announced, so needless to say I was excited about getting it. My initial thoughts are this - I like it. There are some things that have been streamlined from the second game, and some nice additions as well. I have owned all three games and it's nice to see how HOI has progressed since the original was released. In fact, I would say that HOI3 is the most user friendly thus far, and yet still has enough complexity to appease longtime fans. That's my opinion anyways.

I have two complaints thus far - the load times when starting up the game are terrible, and because I bought a digital version, there is no physical copy of a manual. I did try to print up the pdf file, but it formatted all weird. Not a big issue, but would be nice to have something I could look at for reference while playing the game.

Those are my initial thoughts to a great game, so I leave you with a video:

Not many changes really.

Well I thought I was going to do more changes to the blog. As it turns out not so much. I messed around with some color changes, even thought of changing to a different template, but I like this one for now. But at some point I might change the colot scheme some, who knows.

What I did do was add some blogs to the blog read list, took a few out, and added a few more links as well. I don't know about others, but there are a few websites and blogs that I do read on a near consistant basis, and many that I read often, but not daily. The main reason for this is because I have found that I spend a large amount of time reading, and leaving me little time for other things, mainly gaming, before or during work. I rarely check anything out once I get home from work, I use that time to get my game on!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009


I think it's time for some more updates to the blog page. I have found a few more blogs that I want to link, maybe change my profile pic to something a bit more up to date, who knows.

This blog never really had much of a focus other than games, and I don't know if that will change. What should change is my blogging habits, I need to post more of my gaming exploits in the various games that I am playing maybe.

At the moment I am working my way through Mass Effect on the Xbox 360, mainly for the achievements. Appears I liked that game more that I realised.

I also just purchased Hearts of Iron III on Friday, so I want to spend some time with that during my days off. I have found that East India Company is not as fun as I was hoping, but I do still plan to get more time in with it as some point.

Been apart of the Champions Online beta for some time now and I wish I could give my thoughts, but I can't. I will be playing some today, maybe try some new stuff.

I made level 31 with my HoX in AoC last night. I am now going to be heading to Aquilonia for some questing. I am having a blast with the Herald, it's a strong class. I leveled a ToS out of Tortage faster than I did any other class, but I have found them to be a frustratingly weak PvE class thus far. Now that the new patch is out, maybe I will fire up my level 27 Barbarian again.

Well that's all for now, time to enjoy my three day weekend with some pre-season football, gaming and maybe the family too!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

***SPOILER ALERT*** GI JOE The Movie Thoughts

So last night I went to see the GI Joe movie for my birthday. So here are some quick thoughts I had about the movie, nothing special but there are a couple of spoilers, so beware.

Let's start with the bad shall we;
  • The love connection of Baroness and Duke. Was too coincidental and don't remember it happening in the old cartoons.
  • The Baroness being under the effects of mind control and suddenly coming out of it to rescue Duke. It was at this point the movie was mostly ruined for me because it was LAME!!
  • Snake-eyes' suit has a mouth, and it looks stupid.
  • Who the hell is Heavy-Duty and Breaker? Could they pick any lesser known Joes?
  • Lots of CGI.
  • The crazy doctor is really Cobra Commander, wow who could have guessed that one.
  • Lastly, we get to see Cobra Commander's face. BOOOOOO.

So now onto some of the good;

  • The casting was great. I have no problems with who played whom, it worked for me.
  • The acting for the most part was actually very good, and I liked the movies light hearted humor, really helped.
  • The flash back sequences for Storm-shadow and Snake-Eyes was wonderful.
  • Arnold Voslo+Zartan=AWESOME!!! His character was great, was really the only believable evil character in the movie.
  • Speaking of The Mummy cast reunions, was nice to see Brendon Frazier and Kevin J. O'Connor as well.
  • The Baroness is hot.

I knew that the movie and the cartoon were going to differ, but the whole Duke, Baroness, Cobra Commander triangle was hard to accept. Dennis Quaid is an awesome actor, but he needed to tone it down just a bit. The cast, the humor and the acting are what keep this movie from being a waste. But the story is predictable and not very good. I was for the most part enjoying the movie up until the Baroness rescue of Duke thing, after that I was just plain bored for the remainder of the film.

Ten years ago Stephen Sommers did The Mummy, one of my all time favorite movies. Unfortunately it seems that many of the things that made that movie great have been replaced with a boat load of CGI instead.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Some Mass Effect thoughts

I have been trying hard recently to not purchase a game and then have it sit on a shelf and not finish it till years later. So with that in mind, I decided to play Mass Effect on the PC, a game that I have owned for...well I can't remember when I bought it.

Mass Effect is a game that I have wanted to play for a very very long time. The game was exciting and fun, and I was loving it for about the first four or five hours, that is till I left the Citadel and went to Noveria.

It was on Noveria when I began to curse the combat and squad controls of the game. The difficulty of the enemies didn't help either. The combat is not terrible in Mass Effect, but it does take some getting used to. When on Eden Prime, everything was easy, to easy in fact. So I tried to just run and gun on Noveria, and I was getting crushed. So much so that I almost gave up on the game, it was not fun.

Most people are familiar with Mass Effect at this point, but the game has a third person perspective. So when you have your weapon out, the view changes to a more over the shoulder camera angle, so far not so bad. But in combat you have to deal with weapon heat, weapon kick back, accuracy going down the longer you hold down the trigger, stuff that I was not prepared for when I went to Noveria to face Matriarch Benezia.

I played a soldier with an emphasis at that time on the assault rifle, and I thought that I could just run and gun my way through, turns out that is not the case. Now that I am on my second play-through, I know what the combat is and isn't, and it's made the game much more enjoyable. I'm wasn't a fan of the stop-and-pop combat of Gears of War, but after playing Gears of War 2 which I felt did a much better job, I think all third person action games should try to copy it. I feel Mass Effect would have been much better combat wise had they copied Gears. Just this guys opinion.

But I really believe that my issue with the combat has more to do with the lame squad AI and squad commands. The PC version has a much improved squad command interface over the xbox version, but it's still so limited at times. I have given up on trying to issue movement commands to my squad mates, they are just too stupid to figure it out. I have found that is best to take control of your squad mates ability usage, and instead I will tell them what ability to use and who to use them on. I am finding that on my second play through that is the best way to handle your squad, making combat go much smoother and is much more enjoyable as well.

The only other complaints I have about the game is that the side missions are very mundane and tedious at times, and that you can only land on certain planets in each system, one to be exact. I do have one more complaint; anyone remember the commercials about Mass Effect when the game was first coming out, and how there was this notion that you would have to make choices in the game that could decide the fate of races and planets?

Not in this game. In my first play through(which I know wasn't 100% complete) I had four times that I can distinctly remember making a choice that affected a race or a person. Maybe on my second play through I will run into more instances like the ones I have already had, but as far as I can tell they had little effect on anything going on.

Probably what I most enjoyed about Mass Effect was the story. I thought it was great, had a nice plot twist that I did not see coming, and was best part of the game. I also enjoyed talking with my squad mates. Yes there is just way too much dialog in the game, but each squad member had his or her own personality, and I enjoyed conversing with them.

In the end I think Mass Effect is a great game that is a tad over-rated. For some reason I was just not drawn in like I was in Bioware's other epic rpg, KOTOR. Also, the universe is not nearly as big as one would think, and if you chose to, you could finish the single player with out ever doing any side missions in less than ten hours.