Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sucked In.

It started off slowly. I would play a few hours here, a few hours there. But then it happened, I have become sucked into Dragon Age, unable to get away for very long to play anything else. One problem I am having is that I tend to jump between the different characters that I have, one for each origin.

My rogue has progressed the furthest of all the characters I have. He is has already convinced the Dalish and the Templar's to join the cause against the blight and is currently working his way through the Deep Roads in the hopes of getting the Dwarfs to commit as well.

There must be a lot more to do after this because I have barley finished a third of the game. The rogue has been played for almost thirty hours and that is with me skipping most of the side quests in each area.

But I will need to break away some because I have been neglecting Fallen Earth and that sub expires in the middle of the month and I need to spend some quality time with the game to see if I am going to be renewing for a third month. Also, the Siege of Mirkwood expansion will be released on Tuesday, along with it comes some new features and a few changes as well.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Turkey Day!

I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! I plan to watch the Raiders hopefully win against the Cowboys, hanging out with the family and going to my brothers new place. It will be a nice way to spend a paid day off.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Fallen Earth tidbits.

I haven't spent as much time with Fallen Earth as I would like to have, but so far I am enjoying the game. Ultimately it's the sandbox openness of the game that I really like, among a few other things. Alik on the MMO voices podcast said something to the effects of it's the feeling of being able to do anything you want without having to be lead by the hand from quest to quest.

But I do have one complaint, and that is the combat. I actually think the combat quite neat and can be fun if everything is running smoothly. I am experiencing a bit of frustration right now using the crossbow at close range because mobs have been warping some around my guy. The bigger problem is the clunky way to switch weapons. Instead of using a crossbow at close range I should be using a melee weapon, but's such a pain so switch weapons.

It's just a minor complaint and it's not enough to ruin the game for me.

Return to Middle Earth.

Recently Turbine had a welcome back week just this past week for LOTRO, so I decided to give the game a try, again. I have played LOTRO off and on since beta and for what ever reason the game just doesn't hold my attention for very long.

I suspect that the reason for my eventual lack of interest in the game comes from a few factors; the endless running around to get anywhere, a general lack of understanding of the combat at times and the repetitive nature of the none group quests.

Even so, I still had a feeling like I hadn't accomplished all I wanted to do in LOTRO. If you think about it, it's this nostalgia feeling, this sense of not accomplishing all that I could have that is the reason why I tend to jump from one MMO to another. It's hard sometimes to stop thinking that if only I had been more dedicated or used my time wisely that I could have accomplished more in a game. But regardless that's probably a topic for another day.

I have two characters that I play, a Champion and a Warden, both
on separate servers unfortunately. My Champion is my original character but the Warden is the one I have been playing most recently. My problem is that I don't play much and the Warden gambit system is such that I would end up spending endless amounts of time trying to refresh my memory of the many attacks.

I have been following Doc Holiday's blog for sometime now, and it's been such a reliable source of info for how to play my Warden. So what I did is print up a list of all the Warden gambits, arrange my hotkey bar like Doc does his and then write down all the gambits that I can currently use. The difference has been like night and day. No longer am I wasting time trying to remember gambits and trying to remember the combat, I now have my cheat sheet and I am playing more because I am having a lot of fun.

Knowing that the 18th was the last day to reactivate my account with a multi-month sub to get Siege of Mirkwood, I decided to do another three month sub. I noticed right after that I had to upgrade my account, and in doing so I ended up choosing another three month sub on top of the three I just done, meaning I now have a six month sub to LOTRO.

Oh well, six months at ten dollars a month sounds like a good deal to me. Maybe, just maybe I will get a character up to max level, would be nice.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Dub's Diatribe featured at

The good people at have featured yours truly as their site of the week. It's a great honor and a nice surprise. I know that I am no Syp, SynCaine or Tobold, nor do I aspire to be those guys, but I am really humbled when I am added to a blog roll or list, or in this case featured as site of the week. Thank you guys, I really appreciate it.

I would encourage everyone to check out the site and give a listen to their podcast, it's actually quite good.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Chaos Rising Dev Diary

This looks awesome. The corruption system with multiple endings is great, but my favorite part is the Space Hulk. Seems to me to be an homage to the awesome board game I would play with my buddies in high school.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Happy LOTRO time.

I just noticed that Xfire says that my most played game of the week is LOTRO at 7 hours. That is honestly amazing. I don't think I have played that much in a week since the game launched and possibly when I got Mines of Moria.

Since Turbine is having one of those come back and play free deals, I thought I would give it a try again and see if there was enough interest for me to resub and get Mirkwood. I am having some fun, and I was bummed that I wasn't able to play any last night, again very amazing.
Putting my Modern Warfare 2 disdain aside, I found this pretty funny. Seems gamers these days do not know the definition of boycott.

Enough said.

Finally a real PC review for Modern Warfare 2.

The early reviews of this game were conducted at a hotel under Activision's supervision, using the console version of the game. The launch party in New York featured the 360 version of the game. We were sent the Prestige Edition of the game the day of release for coverage. Very few people at the company seem to care that yes, there is a PC port of the game.

Well, we care, dammit. Call of Duty came from the PC gaming scene, and it was there that it was popularized. Yes, consoles are now the dominant form of gaming from a financial standpoint, but it's sad to see a game that has such a rich history on our favorite platform feel so neglected in its newest incarnation. The port of the single-player campaign is strong; the game looks, plays, and feels incredible on a capable gaming PC. The Special Ops missions are perfect if you're in the mood for a teeny-tiny LAN party (although of course you'll both need Steam accounts to play), but the multiplayer offerings feel like Infinity Ward is trying to cram a round peg into a square hole.

It's not what we're used to, it's not what we want, and the changes made to the online matchmaking set-up and lack of dedicated servers negatively change the online experience. It's just that simple.

There is no easy verdict here, but I'm going to say skip the PC version. Why? The single-player is over quickly. The Special Ops missions are great but there are better co-op games out there. The multiplayer is going to be huge on consoles, but on the PC it's just crippled. There is a lot of fun to be had here, but there are way better ways to spend your money, especially with the $60 price.

GamePlanet has a pretty good review of the PC version as well. These reviews confirm what I already felt, that the gameplay is awesome. The single player is fantastic and the Spec Ops mode sounds really great. But the gimped multiplayer kills the value for me personally and I don't feel that the game is worth the $60 price on the PC.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Aion Review

Well it's finally here, my Aion review. To summarize, I thought that Aion is not a bad game, in fact it's pretty solid; but not being able to experience the PvPvE till level 25 and the grinding gameplay was too much for me.

I could live with the level 25 requirement if the game didn't punish you for trying to get their. If the level grind isn't brutal enough for you then it's time to give Aion's crafting a try, uber brutal. I eventually swore off crafting because I could but upgrades faster than I could make them. It was amazing how much money I saved not trying to raise my crafting expertise a few points.

If it sounds like I hated the game, I did, at first. But once I gave up on the Assassin and went with the Chanter, things got much better for me.

Because I have to give the game a number, I gave it a 7/10, primarily for the grind and the lack of anything real unique in the game. If down the road NCSoft allows a free trail, I would recommend that everyone give it a try at least once, specially if you like WoW, WAR or EQ2.

I do have some free time left and I do want to try the new xp patch that came out after I started writing the review to see how much of a difference there is. But I don't miss playing the game, and not playing it has freed me up to play something like Borderlands which I do look forward to playing.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

No more to say.

It has been brought to my attention that maybe I have been a little to negative in my posts towards Infinity Ward and Modern Warfare 2. Upon further reflection I would agree. Maybe I should have just focused one post about my displeasure and moved on.

Feature wise I am not happy with the use of IWNet which means a loss of dedicated servers and matches capped at 9v9. IWNet is a console style matchmaking service and if it's anything like it was on the Xbox then the host will always have the advantage because of lag.

My favorite servers to play on in Modern Warfare were 24 man and 32 man servers, so I can live with the 9v9, but why the console matchmaking service. I'm not interested in mods of console commands but the PC games that use P2P matchmaking generally fade away quickly because it stinks. Ask FEAR 2 or Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising how well there multiplayer is going on the PC.

But my biggest complaint is a personal one. It seems like years ago, but I was in a clan called {DRI}, we played Modern Warfare and even had a server. But as interest wained and real life called many of us went our separate ways. World at War did bring some of use back, but not for long. So I had hoped that MW2 would bring back some of the old {DRI} members, just like old times.

PC gaming will not die from a lack of interest alone, but from a lack of interest due to developers taking features that PC gamers have come to expect and substituting them for second rate console features.

Friday, November 6, 2009

It's not Steam.

Those few who have read the blog lately will know that I have been quite upset with Infinity Ward's handling of Modern Warfare 2's multiplayer. I feel that MW2 is nothing more than a console port and is a slap in the face to PC gamers.

So when I saw this article at Shacknews, I was both happy and confused at the same time. Basically Direct2Drive, Impulse and GamersGate are refusing to sell MW2 because it requires players to use Steamworks. But one rep went as far as calling the service a 'Trojan Horse' which I thought was odd.

I was happy because I want the game to fail on the PC market. At least at first so that IW will realize just how much we PC gamers do not like the console treatment of the games multiplayer. But after some thought, it would seem that those three digital distribution companies stand to loose out on a lot of money.

If anyone has bought a game off of Steam, then you have used Steamworks, it's not a 'Trojan Horse' like these three services would like people to think. I think that Steam is great, and is the main reason why I purchase games from them over the other digital distributors.

Now if these three companies were against MW2's console makeover, then I would support them 100%. But to me it appears that they are trying to capitalize on the growing discontant from PC gamers. To what end I do not know. I think it's a bad move on their part, they have the potential to lose out on a lot of money and I think this will just drive buyers over to Steam.

All I can now about this is thank you Infinity Ward, you have saved me sixty bucks!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Infinity Ward loves consoles, hates PC's.

I found this over at Evil Avatar:

Gamestop today hosted an online chat session with three Infinity Ward employees (including Mackey McCandlish & Ryan Lastimosa) concerning the soon to be released Modern Warfare 2.

Questions were fielded live by online users, and understandably there were numerous questions concerning features of the PC version in light of various controversies which have surfaced on the web lately.

A transcript of the session can be found on

Notable answers on answers to questions raised include:
there is no console command menu to tweak settings;
confirmation that there will be no modding;
confirmation that there will be no dedicated servers whatsoever;
  • the ability to lean has been removed;
  • there is no function to record matches;
  • the largest matches will be limited to 9 v 9 players;
  • will determine who should be the host player.

When directly asked if MW2 on PC was simply a port of the console version, Mackey responded "No, PC has custom stuff like mouse control, text chat in game, and graphics settings".

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

This just in; Dragon Age is awesome!

I have spent about four hours playing the PC version of Dragon Age, and it is sweet. The game is beautiful, there is a ton of voice acting and the combat it great. The best part for me is that Bioware has finally solved the camera issues that plagued both NWN and NWN2. The camera in NWN 2 was tolerable with some tinkering, but still a pain if trying to play from an off the shoulder camera angle. I figure that developing a console version at the same time helped.

My two complaints; trying to redeem my promo codes for my preorder was more than a pain, and there just is TOO much blood in the game. I am all for gore, but this is silly honestly.

The first pic is of me and dear ol' mother after a battle with some intruders, the second one is of my human warrior named Cypher.

It's Dragon Age Day!

If you didn't know, it's Dragon Age day! I pre-ordered mine from Steam last night, so it's ready for me to play. I am just sitting here in eager anticipation waiting to leave work, only a few more minutes...

Sid the Kid.

I have always been a fan of number 87 Sidney Crosby from the Pittsburgh Penguins, but I found this to be most impressive.

I honestly don't know how much of a fighter Zidlicky is, but I do know that superstars such as Crosby are not fighters and rarely if ever drop the gloves. Sometimes I wish the days of feuds would return, like back when the Redwings faced the Avalanche and it wasn't a matter of if but when the gloves would come off.

Just a bit of warning, this next video is long but you will get the idea pretty much right away, and there is a bit of foul language at the end from the song.