Monday, December 13, 2010

DCUO Character Creation

Since the DCUO Beta NDA has dropped I thought I would share some thoughts on the character creation process of the game. It's easy to forget that the only two super hero themed MMOs on the market were developed by one studio, Cryptic. One thing Cryptic is known for is their character creation and the huge amount of variety it offers players. So how does DCUO stack up with Champions Online and City of Heroes? Well let's take a look at what you will have to work with.

The first choice players will have to decide is whether male or female and then what build they want - Large, Medium or Small. For this example I chose male and medium build type. Next up is the real meat of the character creation process, the template selection. There are only two options to choose from, Custom and Inspired By.

In a Custom template players will be able to customize powers, movement mode, weapon and costume. The Inspired By option has some pre-made templates based off some of the heroes and villains found in the DC Universe.

The Inspired By option is a nice feature for players looking to get into the game quickly or for those who want to mimic their favorite DC character, but a quick scan of the available options will show two things - a limited number of templates to choose from and some questionable power and combat combinations. For example Superman has Ice powers and Brawling combat style, and the Flash has Fire powers and Brawling combat style. Neither of those makes any sort of sense, but it does highlight one of DCUO's shortcomings which I shall get to a bit later.

For demonstration purposes I chose Custom template. Next up players will need to decide if they are going to fight for the side of good or join the side of evil, I chose good.

The next choice I had to make was my character's personality. What ever players choose it has no affect on combat. What the personality does do is determine how a character stands still or walks around the game world, and frankly the choices suck. What's really missing is some sort of default or normal option instead of some of these absurd personality choices.

Since I chose a custom template I now need to chose my mentor. For the heroes it's Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. For the villains it's Lex Luthor, Joker and Circe. If you are wondering who Circe is then you're not alone, I have no idea either.

After choosing a mentor I now have the all important choice of which power I want to use. If you read the description it says that the power selection determines combat strategy and my role in groups. Here's the kicker, there are only six powers to choose from. Six. And the choices available are not all that great either. You have Fire, Gadgets, Ice, Mental, Nature and Sorcery. Even though there are only six powers to choose from, each power has two power trees that players will be able to spend points on when they level up.

The next step is skill choices, movement and weapon. Since there are only three movement options to choose from, I took flight as mine. Weapon choice determines combat style more than anything. One might get a different idea if they were to actually believe the description that is provided. There are only ten choices to choose from and it's nothing that hasn't been done already.

Since this post is turning out to be epic in length I'll try to summarize the rest as succinctly as possible. The rest of the character creation process involves a characters look and costume. There are quite a number of options to choose from in determining how you want your character to look. Even so, the shirt and pants options are not all that varied, there are a limited number of glove or hand choices and shoe options is just laughable. It's a good thing that DCUO is a loot based game like WoW or WAR because items can change the character's appearance.

So what is DCUO's biggest shortcoming you might ask? It's variety, it's the number of choices that players have, it's customization, DCUO just doesn't have enough of it all. Don't get me wrong, the game looks great, the combat is a lot of fun and the quests so far are pretty fun, but when compared to its other super hero brethren the character creation is sorely lacking.

Hopefully this was entertaining and informative enough for everyone.

Friday, December 10, 2010


I am not sure why, but for some reason I have this urge to try out some LOTRO f2p. I'm not sure where this sensation is coming from or why, but it's there for some reason. Despite my tone when I talk about the game, I don't hate it. I have my issues with LOTRO that have frustrated me over the years to the point that I quit because I grew tired of them.

I seriously doubt that the game has changed and I will suddenly fall back in love with it, but maybe I can learn to deal or overlook the shortcomings and just enjoy LOTRO for what it is. Maybe, I kind of like not having a MMO right now. Then again LOTRO is free...we shall see.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thoughts Coming Soon On DCUO Beta.

I believe Massively and PCGamer have already posted up information about the DCUO beta, but I figured I would take some time to post about my thoughts as well. I will unfortunately have to get to it sometime this weekend, for some reason the client wants to update and download the whole 8.6gb of the game. Not sure why it want's to do that but I will have to wait till it's done in order to take some screenshots of the character creation process, the tutorial and then Gotham and Metropolis.

I wish I owned a full copy of Fraps so I could post video with some commentary, so for now screenshots with some detailed writing will have to sufice. I will share a quick thought about the game so far - it starts off with a bang but kind of fizzles once out of the tutorial. Also, if you are expecting Cryptic kind of customization then you will be slightly dissapointed.

That's it for now, I do plan on going into a bit more detail once I have let the client update itself.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Cataclysm of Man Hours Lost!

So I wonder how many man hours will be lost today around the world because of WoW's new expansion Cataclysm? And you know what else? Three Activision-Blizzard releases are going to account for the majority of the sales for the PC this year, very unfortunate.

I suspect that I am one of the few that will not be partaking in WoW's newest content, and I am perfectly fine with that. I did do the midnight launch for the Burning Crusade, eventually did pick up Wrath after a few months of release and as of right now I have little to no interest in getting Cataclysm or even playing WoW.

I have played so much WoW over the years that I am just burnt out on the game. It's a great game and does many things that I like and look for in a MMO, I've just played it a lot. But then maybe that's what the purpose of the 1.4 patch and the Cataclysm expansion are for. When you think about it, the recent changes to WoW are as close to a sequel without actually being a sequel.

Uh-oh, I think I have just talked myself into almost playing WoW again. So for the sake of my sanity, I will end this post with this statement: I hope Cataclysm is everything WoW players have wanted and I look forward to the myriad of blog posts about it!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Still A Sucker!

I know that I had intended to reduce my PC game purchases, but I am a sucker for sales, specially the ones on Steam. In case you didn't know, there are a ton of sales that go on after Thanksgiving, both retail and online, and it's kind of a big deal. I honestly don't remember purchasing so many games like I have this year, both during Steam's summer sale in June/July and just recently. And I do expect to be buying something hopefully if there is a holiday sale as well!

I did exercise some restraint during the Thanksgiving sales, mostly because I didn't want to buy a ton of product that I may or may not play. With that said, I did buy five games and only two games from Steam and one was not a digital purchase.

On Friday the 26th I purchased Burnout: Ultimate Edition from Steam and Sims 3 from the EAStore. On Saturday I went and ordered Splinter Cell Conviction from GoGamer because it was only ten bucks! But I did have to pay tax and shipping, still it was cheaper than when it was listed on Steam for sale a day later. Then on Monday, the last day of the Steam sale I picked up Dirt 2 for dirt cheap and Metro 2033, two games that I have been wanting to get for a very long time.

Frankly the only game that I could have done without is Burnout. It's a great game and I did want it, but it was more of a purchase based on the idea that it may not be at the sale price of fifteen bucks anytime soon. I could be wrong and it may be even cheaper next time, it has happened. Sims 3 was only fifteen which was great cause I wasn't about to pay full price for that, and Dirt 2 was only five bucks and Metro 2033 was only ten!

The game I was most excited to buy was Metro 2033 hands down. The game looks awesome and I have heard nothing but great things about it. Once my current addiction to Mass Effect dies down I will be moving on to Metro 2033.

I will say that there were a lot more than these five games that I was tempted to pick up. I am really looking forward to the Christmas holiday sales, hopefully I will be able to exercise the same restraint then like I did this last sale.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

It's the funk.

You know what I hate about being a gamer with a bad impulse buy habit? Having a shelf or hard drive full of games that I have played little or none of, or, games that I have finished but would like to go back and play again. Hope that makes sense. It's an overwhelming feeling that really hinders my game playing cause I end up sitting behind the computer spending more time trying to decide what to play next rather than playing anything at all. Right now I am in one of those funks, kind of.

After spending a great deal of time with and finishing Fallout: New Vegas, I thought I would go back and play Mass Effect 2. Instead I ended up finishing the main story to Just Cause 2 which is an awesome game but with a TON of stuff still to be done, and completing the Normandy campaign in Company Of Heroes. I have started Mass Effect 2 and finished up most the missions on Omega, but still I am having a hard time shaking off the funk.

I am thinking that some of that has to do with not having an active MMO sub at the moment. My free month of WAR ran out on the 18th and I haven't bothered to renew it yet. Thanks to FNV and my frustration with T4 oRvR I have played about twenty hours of WAR in the past month. And even though I was genuinely excited about the new 1.4 patch changes I am finding little motivation to renew my sub at the moment. Right now I am just bored with MMO's in general.

So what does that have to do with the funk? Glad you asked. When ever I get into a funk or I'm just not interesting in any of the games I have, I know that I can turn to whatever active MMO I have to fill in the gaps. I guess you could say that MMO's are my security blanket, cause no matter what's going on in my gaming world, they are always there to comfort me.

One thing I have decided was to be smarter with my game purchases. After a quick glance at the new releases for the rest of the year it looks like the only new game I will be buying is going to be TRON. I don't care how bad that game is, I am a TRON nerd, I have to buy it! With that in mind it looks like I have quite a bit of time on my hands to dedicate to playing games in my collection, including stuff for the PS3. Heck, maybe I'll get back into FNV again, there is still so much content that I have yet to see!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Done and Done!

So I finished my third and fourth playthrough of Fallout New Vegas yesterday. To be fair I didn't start a fourth game and finish it, I just continued from a save that I made about half way through my third playthrough and went from there. I started with the NCR, did the Legion next and saved the neutral endings for last.

Overall I am very satisfied with Fallout New Vegas, the addition of factions really adds a nice dynamic to the game that Fallout 3 did not have. I was underwhelmed by the crafting in the game though, both for ammo and survival and the random crashes to desktop and occasional buggy-ness of the game was sometimes off putting. But I would highly recommend Fallout New Vegas to anyone who liked Fallout 3, it's worth it.

Friday, November 5, 2010

More WAR today!

I had mention in my last post about in WAR players will need to gain the emblems/crests in order to purchase gear, so the accelerated renown gain from the Progression Patch isn't such a big deal. Well it was something along those lines, but anyways I made the same comment on twitter the other day and Openedge politely pointed me to the last part of the 1.4 patch notes, which I will copy and paste here;

* To accommodate the addition of new armor and item sets into the game, we've made the following changes to reward distribution.
- Annihilator: This Renown armor set is now exclusively available on the RvR merchants and no longer costs alternate currency.
- Conqueror: This Renown armor set is now exclusively available on the RvR merchants and no longer requires Conqueror Crests to purchase.
- Warlord: This Renown armor set will now be attainable in Gold bags rewarded for the capture of a Tier 4 Keep.
- Sovereign: This Renown armor set is now attained in gold bags awarded when victorious in Stage I of the City Siege public quest.
- Non-set armor and weapons previously awarded in Stage III of the City Siege public quests are now found in Stage I of the City Siege public quests.
- Non-set armor and weapons previously awarded in Stage II of the City Siege public quests are now found in Tier 4 Keeps.
- Players will now receive Warlord Crests as a reward for successfully capturing an ORvR zone.
- Players will now receive Invader Crests for their efforts if they do not receive a bag after successfully completing a Tier 4 Keep public quest.
- Players will now be awarded Invader Crests as the alternate currency option inside all public quests bags from Tier 4 Keeps.
- Players will now be awarded Royal Crests from Stage I of the City Siege public quests.
- The losing realm will now be awarded Royal Crests from Stage I of the City Siege public quests.

Actually this is just the portion dealing with renown gear, but I did find it very interesting. The Annihilator and Conqueror gear no longer requiring rvr currency is awesome in my opinion. So with the increase in renown gain and these two sets of rvr gear now just costing gold, it helps players like myself be a bit more competitive out there on the battlefield. To me that seems to be the idea with these changes. The rest of the changes seem to be Mythic's way of streamlining rewards for keeps captures and city siege's. Nothing there really sticks out to me as being a bad thing.

I still don't think that the accelerated renown gain coupled with the changes to some of the renown gear is going to unbalance WAR at all. Call me an optimist, call me a WAR fanboy it if you must, but I think this is only going to help improve the quality of pvp in T4. That's my hope anyways.

War Tract Please!

There has been a lot made about the Specialized Training Pack, or the ten dollar free level for WAR. I can understand how this can look bad and why some people are overreacting to this (as they tend to do with many things). It's my understanding that players can only purchase one per character, that's it, and it's only for XP and not Renown.

Let's get one thing straight, no one is going to be purchasing their way from r1 to r40, won't and can't happen. What will most likely happen is smart players will pick up a free War Tract that you can get in game along with a paid one to skip the last two mind numbing levels up to r40. Sorry but the sky is not falling, this is not going to unbalance the game and WAR is not going to die from this.

WAR is a pvp game and a players Renown Rank is actually more important in the end. With the accelerated renown gain from the Progression Pack players will still need to gain the emblems/crests to purchase the high level gear.

In the end no one really knows what effect patch 1.4 will have on WAR till it's released. But I am going to go out on a limb and say that things will turn out just fine.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Today's Hodgepodge.

Todays post is just a few random thoughts that are too long to tweet and too short to really flesh out a blog post about. Besides, none of it's all that interesting anyways!

Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants for winning the World Series. Turns out they were the better team even if I think they were lucky to even get in. Look for them to not make the playoffs next year. I wanted to go to the parade in the City, but I kind of forgot about it this morning. Plus I was being lazy and I hate driving there so I stayed home and watched a couple episodes of Mythbusters while playing more Fallout: New Vegas.

Speaking of FNV; I have completed the game not once, but twice now. The first time was on Saturday afternoon and the second was late last night. Today I started my third play through so we shall see how that goes. There is so much content in this game, between the main quest, the side quests and then the free quests that don't show on your pip boy, plus all the exploring I doubt I ever do everything in the game. The problem with playing so much FNV is that I haven't spent time playing WAR. I logged in for about ten minutes on Monday before logging out and getting back to FNV.

Speaking of WAR; the new 1.4 patch notes were published today, so it seems it will hit live servers end of this month or early in December. There seems to be some buzz about the new RvR packs and the new item store for WAR. I would be surprised at anyone who thought the RvR packs would be free, so that's not the issue. What seems to be the hot button is the Progression Pack that unlocks Renown Rank also gives players an opportunity to advance to rr80 at a faster pace. Not only that, but players can also purchase Writs from the EA store for only ten bucks that will give players a free level.

I'm not sure how I feel about all this. As someone with a low RR toon, I would give anything to be able to avoid the seeming endless grind. But on the other hand WAR doesn't have your traditional endgame dungeon grind like you see in WoW, good gear is tied to PvP and a character's RR. I get the feeling just from browsing the forums a bit is that some are worried this could cause an imbalance of some sorts. Not sure how true that is but I do believe there is some cause for concern to be had. What I do know is this next month will be interesting for those who play WAR.

Switching gears if I may; the new James Bond game was released the other day. After watching the trailer I am half tempted to pick it up. Only half because on review I read mentioned that the game was somewhere in the 5 hour range, and at fifty bucks that doesn't sound like a good thing. Is it me or are games getting shorter and shorter, but the price remains the same? Or in some cases releasing with a sixty dollar price tag. I spent sixty dollars on Modern Warfare 2. I did get my moneys worth, but I will not be spending that much on a game again unless it's for a collector's edition. Or till all games have that price tag.

So if I don't pick up Bond then I might take a few days to catch up on some WAR then replay Mass Effect 2. I've done the Paragon side, now it's time to kick ass and chew bubble gum as a Renegade! Or maybe Borderlands on the PC cause Anjin keeps talking about it. Or how about one of the many neglected PS3 games sitting on my shelf. Oh the trials and tribulations of being a gamer.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Dominated by the Mojave.

Fallout New Vegas has been the game of choice for over a week now. I haven't touched WAR since last Monday's all day binge and I played a few hours of Tales of Monkey Island at work the other day, so all my other free time has been spent in the fabulous world of FNV!

I actually finished the game on Saturday and have been wasting time in game trying to decide how I am going to play through a second time. I figure that there are at least two more times I will need to finish the game because of the different endings and the factions involved. Normally I would move on to another game, but I think I am going to start a new habit and keep playing, that way I won't be spending the next year or so telling myself that I should play that game again like I have been doing with Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age and even Fallout 3.

My non-spoiler thoughts on the final mission: it was extremely hard on hardcore mode and my stupid dog kept dying. Honestly I wasn't having fun but I did have to work at completing the mission and in the end it was very satisfying when I knew I was actually going to beat the game. It had taken me a few hours and many, many reloads just to finish it.

So for now I think I will continue my trek across the Mojave, and one thing's for sure, I have gotten my moneys worth out of Fallout New Vegas.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Generic WAR post.

Werit had a post yesterday about some PvE content being apart of Thanquol's Incursion, the new 24v24 rvr instance on the test realm. What caught my eye wasn't something in the post, but the first comment and Werit's response to the comment.

The comment was along the lines of not being happy with having to grind another twenty levels of renown when the new RvR content goes live. To which Werit responds by saying that he doesn't feel it's a grind and no matter how long it takes, he's going to enjoy the ride. That right there my friends is an awesome attitude and it really struck home with me.

Now let's go back a few days to a post on Bootae's blog about play styles in oRvR. It's a post about how some players prefer running solo, some will only run with a group and how either way is fine, but to be a well rounded pvper, it's best to try and learn to do both. Sounds simple right? Well for some it's not.

So what do either of these posts have to do with one another, or anything for that matter? They made me think about how I play and view my time in WAR. Last week I made a post about WAR and how I was going to tough it out in T4. Well as it turns out, that didn't last long, cause a few hours after that post I cancelled my sub to WAR. I made that post then proceeded to play some awful oRvR for about an hour, so I told myself that I have had enough. It was the last day before the next billing cycle and I figured that I would just stick with the Endless Trial instead.

Being the stubborn type, I decide to jump back on with my Black Orc and for the next three hours or so I had the most fun in T4 to date! That day wasn't about zerging or rage quitting if things went bad, it was about discipline and control. The warband I was in followed instructions, they didn't complain and most importantly it seemed that everyone was having fun. Not only did we have a successful zone flip, we also had a successful city siege, it was great. Needless to say I have an active account once more.

The moral of the story is that there's no reason to be in a rush, there's always something to do in WAR and most of all just enjoy it.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Well it's just over half way through the month of October and I have yet to post anything. So while thinking or something to write about I decided to look through some of my older posts when one caught my eye. It was a post on April 16th of this year and it so happened to be about Warhammer Online.

A few weeks ago the unruly folks over at Multiplaying.Net started playing Warhammer Online again and talking about it on their podcast. I have always felt that on paper WAR is the MMO I should love the most: multiple races with differing starting areas, lots of PvE, and varied PvP gameplay that I can participate at my discretion. I think the main sticking point for me is the PvE content; the quests are really well written, seem pretty varied at times, but there is so much running around and the level grind was tough to stomach after playing WoW so much.

But I decided to use my Call to Arms 10 day free play, and I have been reminded of why I both like and dislike the game. I will say that leveling seems to be going much faster now, primarily due to the huge amounts of rest xp I have, so that was a pleasant surprise, but there is still a lot of running around at my level. In the short amount of time I did play that was really the only complaint that I had with the game, it's been a lot of fun doing scenarios and running around doing oRvR in T2.

But my free play ends today and with all the hockey going on right now I will not be reactivating my account. At least not yet. I figure that once the first round of the NHL playoffs are over there will be more time to play games, but right now I am DVR-ing everthing and watching games before and after work, I love it.

I bring this up because WAR has been my MMO of choice for the past two months, and pretty much my game of choice really. I don't remember how much WAR I had played before this most recent stint, but I do know that I had a very different mindset about what I was looking to get out of the game.
When I wrote that post in April, I was still looking at WAR as a pve game with optional pvp content to satisfy me, but it's the other way around. WAR is a pvp game with pve content used to fill time when there is no oRvR going on. Back in August when I resubbed, I started of questing and leveling till about rank 6. At that point I thought I would see if there was any action going on in T1 oRvR, and it was at that point when my experience with WAR changed. No longer was I looking to quest, level and do some PQ's, I was only interested in how many Destro players I could kill from that point on. That was of course when I was playing my Engineer, I have since gone back and spent most my time with my Black Orc.
But not everything has been peaches and cream. T2 pvp was awesome, it was fun and it was easy to get into. T3 was when the game slowed down for me and finding consistent oRvR was a pain. I eventually had to resort to questing in order to rank up and to gain some gold, cause pvp was not making me rich and it was an extremely slow way to gain rank.
Then came T4. Once I hit r30 I immediately headed to T4 looking for some oRvR. Unfortunately the game really changes in T4, and my first impression was not positive. Frankly the pvp is not as accessible as the previous three tiers and the game becomes very gear dependant, something that turned me off to WoW's pvp.
The thing is I still love WAR. I love the look, the content, the pacing of the combat, but I don't love the lack of oRvR when I am eager for some and the pacing of the game really slows down by the time you make it to T4. So what does the future hold for me and WAR? For now I plan on toughing it out in T4 with my Black Orc while messing around with the various other characters I have. I do love this game.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Dub's Playlist of the Week.

My playlist this week is going to be kind of short. The week has been dominated with Warhammer Online. I understand that Civ V was released this week and I do plan to play more of it, but WAR has really sunk its teeth into me. There was a little tiny bit of Bad Company 2 and Jolly Rover sprinkled in, but it's been all about WAR.

Greatest Invention of the 21st Century.

Some people say that the iPhone has been the greatest invention of this generation. I'm not sure about that, but I am sure that the greatest invention of the 21st century has been the Razer Naga Gaming Mouse.

Now I've known about this mouse for quite some time, but had little interest in actually buying one. That was until I mentioned on Twitter about being a mouse clicker in Warhammer Online. It was like a light bulb went off in my head as I said to myself 'self, isn't there a mouse that is suppose to help with that?'. And indeed there is.

What you have to understand is I have been using a Logitech Trackball mouse for over a decade. Not the same mouse of course, but it has been a trackball mouse. I have tried to migrate back to a regular mouse a few times over the years, but I just couldn't get accustomed to the feel of them. So when I went to Best Buy to pick up the Razer I had asked about the return policy. I didn't want to spend all this money on something that may or may not work for me.

But it doesn't matter now because I love my new mouse! Not only does it feel great and is comparable to how I felt with a trackball, it also has made WAR that much more fun. I won't lie, it has been a challenge, but it hasn't been as hard of a transition as I thought it would. I've even used the Razer in Bad Company 2 and did well, that's a great thing for somebody like me who had been tracking it as long as I have.

Is the Razer Naga needed? Not really, I did just fine in FPS games and in MMO's in general. The main reason for the purchase was for the 12 buttons on the side of the mouse. I have tried to be a keyboard clicker, and it just doesn't work for me. I would spend more time looking at the keyboard to make sure I was hitting the right keys. Where the Razer was needed was in PvP. I am tired of just being mediocre, I want to be somewhat competitive, and the Razer Naga is doing that for me. Is the Razer perfect? That depends really. There is still the occasional confusion as to which button I am pressing, but the majority of the time it works perfectly for me. The best thing about the Razer is it allows me to focus on watching the screen. It really has improved my experience in oRvR in WAR, and I do think it's helping me improve as a pvper.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Dub's Playlist of the Week.

I haven't done one of these in awhile, so I figured it was time for another. My playlist has been dominated primarily by two games over the past month: Battlefield Bad Company 2 and Warhammer Online. There has been the occasional other game like Jolly Rover and Napoleon Total War thrown in there, but according to Raptr those other two have been the games of choice.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

More F2P goodness!

Remember that time when I was excited about the Everquest 2 Extended, and how I went on and on about it? Well, as time went on and more information about the pricing came out the excitement kind of died a bit. It also didn't help that I jumped head first in Warhammer Online again. I would actually attribute the lack of EQ2X play time more to WAR than anything else, I'm just so addicted to PvP in that game.

But enough about that, I wanted to talk about something else. You see, if I just wet myself at the EQ2X announcement, then I totally crapped my pants at the announcement of Pirates of the Burning Sea going F2P. Around May of last year I bought PotBS on sale for only five bucks from I actually had six weeks of free play because I also signed up for the 14 day free trial, smart thinking eh!

I had a blast playing the game, even talked one friend into at least trying the game for two weeks. The problem was that Champions Online and Aion were right around the corner, and I was still subbed to Age of Conan as well. So I never actually subbed after my free time was over because those other two games I was going to be writing a review for and knew I wouldn't have much time. As much fun as I was having, I never quite felt that PotBS was worth a fifteen dollar monthly sub. Don't get me wrong, the game has awesome ship to ship combat, something I haven't been able to find in an offline single-player game.

Regardless of whatever MMO I may be playing at the time, I am most definitely going to be playing PotBS, and you should too!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sport the WAAAGH...

My MMO of choice the past month has been WAR, and boy has it been fun, most of the time. I am a PvE carebear at heart and generally stink at any sort of PvP in MMO's. So when I initially came back last month, I created an Engineer on the Iron Rock server and instantly went back to the Dwarf T1 starter area. So for about six levels I just quested and ran a few Public Quests while waiting for scenarios to pop.

Then one day I had this idea that I would go ahead and check out the Empire vs Chaos T1 oRvR, cause with all the free accounts there has to be some PvP going. Let me tell ya, after that night my way of playing WAR changed. It was as if the rain had stopped, the clouds had opened and a ray of sunlight hit me in the face, all the while angels where playing music as if to tell me 'Now this is how you play the game!'. From that point on I logged in, joined an open warband and proceeded to blast Destro into tiny bits.

That was all well and good, till I hit T2 with the Engineer. At this moment he sits idle waiting for me to just take my punishment like a man, cause everyone knows starting out in a new Tier is like having your face kicked in repeatedly, eventually it will stop, I hope. I did have two other characters already in T2, my Chosen on Badlands and the Black Orc on Volkmar. Well I remember when I used to own face back with the Chosen, I'll just dust him off and give it a go.

That didn't last very long. I know I am not playing this class correctly, but it's really discouraging to get creamed as a heavy armored bringer of death. So I decided that I would mess around with the Orc; that turned out to be a great decision. It was a bit rough at first, but eventually I got the hang of the Black Orc and started wreaking shop in T2.

But once again, that was all well and good till I hit T3 with the Orc. T3 on Volkmar is a mixed bag so far. Last night was probably the best night in my young T3 days. We had a full warband take a keep and some BO's and get the elf lands to flip to Destro. I will say one thing, the renown xp is nice. But again, being on the beggining end of the tier, I am easy picken's for high level Order.

Regardless, I am still enjoying WAR, I look forward to going home after work every night and logging in, evern if it's for an hour or two.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

LOTRO F2P this Friday.

So apparently on September 10th, Lord of the Rings in its F2P incarnation goes live here in the US. No offense to Blue Kae or anyone else who may love LOTRO but I could really care less. If you were not a paying subscriber or lifetimer before the F2P announcement, then there is absolutely nothing in the F2P version that will draw you in other than the price. Let me put it another way - going F2P is not going to make LOTRO any better.

I predict that there will be a large number of players from the levels of 1 and say 24, but once players will be required to start shelling out money to continue questing those numbers will drop. But this is me being jaded, I am sure there are a number of players looking forward to this and I hope that it's successful, but I highly doubt that you will find me in the world of Middle Earth.

How I feel about F2P LOTRO.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What I am looking forward to in September!

Well September is here, and that means we should start seeing a lot more games being released for the holiday season. I thought I would share the few games that I am looking forward to playing this month!

1) NHL 11 for PS3.

Since I no longer have a working Xbox, I will need to satisfy my console thirst on the PS3. Not a bad thing, but I have become comfortable with the Xbox controller when it comes to my hockey games, so hopefully there is little difference between the two. The Be a Pro mode was what I played most last season, and this years mode looks even better. I also would like to get into online play once again; I did very little last season because of a few tweaks to the controls that I felt made playing online to difficult as a Defenseman. NHL 11 comes out on Sept. 7th, I will be paying off my preorder this weekend to insure I receive one.

2) Civilization V for the PC.

What can I say, I have loved the Civ series since I was introduced to Civ II. What I do know is that I will most likely be losing sleep because I can always just play one more turn! Civ V releases on Sept. 21st, so I better get as much sleep as I can till then.

3) Dead Rising 2 for PC.

I wrote Dead Rising 2 off when I Xbox fried. But then I learned it was PS3 as well and I suddenly was interested. But the other day I noticed that Steam has the PC version for preorder, and now I am excited. I loved the first game and number two looks to be just as awesome. The fact that Capcom is releasing this for the PC makes me the most happiest of all. It will be Games for Windows Live which I love for two reasons - achievements and controller support! The zombie beheadings will begin Sept. 28th, can't wait.

A few notibles that have already been released that I am still looking to get are - Singularity and Mafia 2 for the PC. With WAR taking up my evenings at the moment and the other three games coming this month, I have no idea if I would even have the time to play these two games. Man it's a great time to be a PC gamer!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

FFXIV slowness.

Not long ago I complained about the downloading and patching of Runes of Magic. Well I think the Final Fantasy XIV beta has got that beat. When I went to bed last night I was at roughly 50%, when I got up this morning it was nearly finished at 99.5%. It would seem that Square Enix went with a P2P type download system, like WoW's patcher, and it's awfully slow. Good news is tonight we here in North America should be able to get codes to play in beta, so hopefully all this painfully slow downloading and patching will be worth it.

UPDATE: It took I don't remember how many times to download the updates, but after four attempts to install said updates, I have given up for now. Each time the updating process would error out at 99%, the last time my anti-virus went nuts which caused the updating to fail. So I decided to uninstall the client I have for now and maybe in a day or two I will be able to get myself a code and a new client.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


It's been quite the interesting August. Actually not really, hence why the lack of posts on the blog. The rash of negative posts from bloggers about the new Everquest 2 Extended service really chapped my hide. For that reason I decided to just take a small break, try to refocus and decide if I really want to keep blogging. It does seem a bit overly dramatic when I look back on it, but I like to write, I have enjoyed meeting others through the blog and there are some really good bloggers out there I love to read.

It was almost a year ago when I wrote a few extremely negative posts about Modern Warfare 2, all from a lack of knowledge on how the game was going to work because it hadn't even shipped yet. When the game did eventually ship, I held off purchasing the game on principle, but after a few weeks I did pick it up and proceeded to play something like 130+ hours of the game, so obviously I liked it.

But that period of anger and ignorance about the online portion of Modern Warfare 2 reminds of the number of posts on EQ2X, and that made me think. It made me ask myself why am I taking this so seriously, why do I feel the way I do. I don't really have an answer for that. But regardless, that excitement I had for EQ2X has slipped away and has been replaced with Warhammer Online, so it was all for naught!

I never started the blog because I wanted to use it as a platform to move onto bigger and better things, it was started because I wanted to write about games and give my thoughts and opinions because I felt that the online and print publications were writing terrible reviews. That's how it started, and over the course of a few years the blog has molded into something a bit more, and I've been happy with it. Far be it for me to tell someone how and what to write on their blog, but I have become increasingly annoyed with some bloggers that write up these essay style posts they call articles as though they are trying to get a job at Massively, or somewhere else.

Sometimes putting my thoughts into a post is a way for me to work things out, helps get the gears moving and get me to thinking, and that's what this post has been about, nothing more. August has been a good month; the weather has been pretty decent, I turned 36, and now that it's ending I am just that much closer to NHL 11, Civ V and Dead Rising. Oh and I can't forget about Raiders football!!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

So Productive.

Talk about a productive day at work; I spent the better part of my eight hours watching Youtube gameplay videos of various F2P games that are out now. For some reason my mind was trying to convince me that I might somehow be interested in playing some F2P games, ha! I admit that some looked alright, but I know myself I have a hard enough time staying focused on a pay to play MMO, how in the world am I going to keep interest going for a game that I have nothing invested in?

What I was looking for was one of those Asian MMO's that had some sort of martial arts combat. I had played one a long while ago called Dragon Sky, but it no longer exists, and with good reason - it stunk. But the martial arts combat was soooooo awesome. Too bad it was a terrible game.

I did happen to catch a gameplay trailer for Star Wars Galaxies, the music alone is almost enough to want me to resub. I also watched a few more gameplay trailers for City of Heroes and Champions Online. Yep, it was a pretty boring day at work.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Does anyone remember when First Person Shooters ruled the PC market? Well I do. Back in the day it seemed like that was all there was to play, but not anymore. I have had a real thirst for a good fps lately so I busted out Battlefield Bad Company 2 multiplayer again. I also tried out ArmA II, a game I bought during the Steam sales, and I bought Far Cry 2 for my birthday the other day.

I find that with any online fps there is a warm up time of maybe ten or so minutes where I have to adjust to the speed of the game, and that's definitely true with BFBC2. There are still some 'BS' moments in the game that make you want to cry hacker in chat, but I have learned that if I am not having fun and I am not 'in the zone' so to speak, then it's just best to just exit out of the game and avoid the rage chat that I have been prone to doing in the past. My main problem with BFBC2 is that it runs like crap, and to get it to run better I have to force DX9 and turn down a few settings without destroying the graphics too much. If only there was a game that played like BFBC2 but looked and ran like Modern Warfare 2. Actually, I think that's what the new Medal of Honor is going for.

ArmA II is an interesting game. For those who don't know, ArmA is a military simulation developed by Bohemia Interactive, the same folks that made Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis. If you're looking for a heavy dose of realism in your shooter, these are the games you want to play. OFP was ugly, ran terrible at times, and AI was superhuman at times, but it was like nothing I had played at the time. Shooters have evolved since OFP was released, but my initial impression of ArmA II made me feel like I was playing the same buggy game just over ten years ago. To be fair I have only played about an hour of ArmA II, but I did like what I played enough not to regret my purchase.

Far Cry 2 is a purchase I made for a couple of reasons; A host on a podcast I listen to talks highly of the game and I wanted something that ran well and looked pretty. I loved the first Far Cry, that too was a game like none I played at the time. It looked great, played great and was a lot of fun. Far Cry 2 takes place in Africa this time as opposed to a tropical island like the first game, but it's still just as pretty looking. I have only put about two hours into  Far Cry 2 and done only a couple of missions of jobs I think they are going to be called, but so far it's fun. Far Cry 1&2 are known for their large open world but not in the traditional sandbox kind of way. It's more like you are confined to a certain area of the map, but you are free to traverse any part of that area you want to. This allows the player to approach missions any way they want to.

So those are my shooters for now, eventually I am going to pick up Singularity and the Crysis pack, but for now these will have to do.

Fallen Earth Revisited.

Thanks to the blogosphere craze over Fallen Earth after launch, I decided to pick myself up a copy. Here's some advice; sometimes it's ok not to listen to bloggers, cause Fallen Earth for me was a big dud. There's no real one thing I can point to as to why I wasn't enjoying the game, I just wasn't. Mostly it was that the ranged combat was borked and by not wanting to craft, I felt like I was only playing half a game. I never hated Fallen Earth for what it was trying to do, it just wasn't for me. So after playing less than ten hours during my free month, I cancelled.

The almighty Jaye Dubb
As time went on and the game was patched more and more, I had a slight desire to return to Fallen Earth and see how the game compare to when I first played. I won a code to FE off another blog, but instead of using that, I thought I would start with the 14 day free trial, give myslef an extra couple of weeks in case I was enjoying the game.

The good news is I am enjoying the game thus far. It looks better, runs smoother and I am actually interested in trying to craft this time around. The bad news is that crafting is still overwhelming, the starting towns are very empty and if I quit today I don't think fell like I am missing something. Like I said, I am enjoying the game, I'm just don't see myself playing FE like I have other MMO's.

The basic tutorial hasn't changed; you wake up in some facility that I wasn't paying attention to learn where and you must escape. What has changed is some of the extended tutorial you can do once you pick a started town. I picked Zanesville because it was a combat town that focused on pistols and rifles. The once was a mission to get a free horse, but it seems to be given to you, at what point I don't know cause I wasn't paying much attention to the mission text.

To be fair to FE I have only been playing very casually, maybe and hour a night. But I do think that part of my enjoyment comes from knowing what to expect this time around. I know how the combat is, I know half the game is crafting and I know that it's not a great looking game. I am not interested in trying the PvP, and I have no idea what the 'end game' is like, but I am interested in getting out of the started town and crafting some of the better gear and weapons. It would be great to not be using BB guns for once.

Tates like chicken!
The month of August is shaping up to be a good one for MMO addicts such as myself. There's the new EQ2X beta starting in about a week, Champions Online is getting some huge patch I believe, City of Heroes Going Rogue launches and all of this on the same day if I heard correctly. All of this along with a renewed interest in WAR that has been growing for some time. I am going to continue with Fallen Earth after the trial  for at least the free month and possibly playing WAR, but who knows with these things.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Runes of Massive Patching.

Here's a tip to those companies that are F2P or have a free trail - have the latest version of the client for your game to download. Nothings more frustrating than having to spend about an hour and a half downloading a client only to turn around and spend the next half hour to forty five minutes patching, not a good first impression.

For anyone wondering I have decided to try out Runes of Magic. Since I have no active subs at the moment and Fallen Earth still has free time remaining, I thought I would try out RoM to see what it's like.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Alpha Protocol Review.

Well the great folks at Gamesquad have allowed me to write them a review for Alpha Protocol for the PC. If interested you can check it out here.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

It clicked.

As I was finishing up my review for Alpha Protocol for Gamesquad today, I had a thought; I am giving this game a low score, but I loved it, how can I do that to this game. I am required to give the game a score so I gave it a 6.0. Is this game really a 6.0? It has some really bad AI, doesn't look great and there are a number of bugs in the game, so yes it does. But I love Alpha Protocol; I finished it 5 times and invested almost 70 hrs into the game. Something about the game really clicked with me. I am really hoping that my review isn't so negative that it will deter people from ever playing AP, because it should be given a chance.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Wait and see.

At the expense of sounding like a homer for SOE or a defender of the EQ2X faith, I think I am going to refrain from further posts arguing against those whose sole knowledge on the new F2P service is ignorance. Frankly I am just tired already of reading the same type of comments from people who have decided not to wait and see but instead offer up their prophecy of doom for SOE and EQ2.

Honestly no one will know what the short term and long term effects will be till after the beta starts in the middle of August. My goal from now till beta will be to flood the forums with questions about the new service in order to learn more about what I am getting for free. Free. I think I will say it one more time, FOR FREE!!! Community concerns aside, it seems some are forgetting that if they if they do not like the free service, there is a perfectly good paid server that is still available for them to play on.

I am going to make an assumption here and say that although the community may be great, it hasn't been growing much which means little revenue coming in, and the popularity of micro transaction based games was the fuel for this move for EQ2. Let's not forget that in June Massively had an article about another SOE game called Free Realms hitting 12 million registered players. I'm not going to pretend that Free Realms actually has 12 million players, kind of like WoW still has 11 million players, but they certainly are not new to the F2P model like some may think.

My hope is that everything works out, the community on both sides grows really strong and SOE continues to bring substantial content to EQ2. Why not hope for the best instead of just spewing out irrational uninformed commentary on a service that hasn't started yet?

On a side note; I activated my free Fallen Earth key that Werit game me almost two months ago. So I think I might do some progression posts on detailing my experience starting with the tutorial and how different the game is now from launch. That is of course if I can remember the game from launch, but it will give me something to do for the blog. And thanks to Anjin I am like this close |-| to reactivating my Champions Online account. Problem is the new City of Heroes expansion comes out in a few weeks and that has some interesting things in it. Who knows, I have a bad habit of wanting to resub to games, but not doing it.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Word of the day.

The word of the day is: Conjecture.

Pronunciation: \kən-ˈjek-chər\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin conjectura, from conjectus,past participle of conicere, literally, to throw together, from com- + jacere to throw — more at jet
Date: 14th century
1 obsolete a : interpretation of omens
2 a : inference from defective or presumptive evidence b : a conclusion deduced by surmise or guesswork c : a proposition (as in mathematics) before it has been proved or disproved

If you would like a current example of the use of conjecture, please see any and all blog posts on the subject of the new EQ2 Extended service and how it along with SOE will die because of going F2P. In fact, you could read any post that foretells the future of the game and company, because at this point no one knows what exactly is going to happen.

I'm not here to fight the good fight for SOE or EQ2, I haven't been an active player in quite a long time. But what I am here to do is to be a counter weight to the doom and gloom rhetoric that is being tossed around. What I would prefer to see are more posts that are picking apart EQ2X and asking questions to try and get clarification. Green Armadillo points out something that is quite important to those who are intending on dungeon crawling or raiding. This is a legitimate concern that I think everyone should be questioning, it's just to bad the rest of the post is based on assumptions about the future of the game.

I believe what has me most peeved about the whole situation is the comparisons to what Turbine did with LOTRO and how those same people believe SOE should be doing the same thing with EQ2. I believe that the success of DDO instilled a certain confidence that Turbine would be able to handle the transition of LOTRO to a F2P business model. It would seem that SOE hasn't instilled that same confidence.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Some EQ2 Extended Info.

For those who have decided to sound the death knell for SOE and Everquest 2 and its community due to the new f2p EQ2X, please check out this handy FAQ page that available for your viewing pleasure. Let me just point out a few things of interest in the order that I read them:

  • Active players can create a new account on EQII Extended for free or copy over a version of an existing EQII live character for $35.
  • Extended is an accessible game purposely developed to grow the gaming community through new players. The free adventure service allows new players to experience more quality content and increased participation than the previously offered 14-day trial.
  • The purchase of items in the EQII Extended Marketplace is entirely optional. While many items in the Marketplace are designed to immediately enhance your in-game experience, some of the best items and gear are the rewards of adventuring or tradeskilling and are only gained by playing the game.
  • To become a Silver member there is a one-time item purchase called the "Silver Membership Pack." That pack grants you an additional character slot, better chat options, extra inventory capacity, raises your quest journal limit, gives you the ability to create guilds, and more. It also grants you two very cool Advancement potions so you can level more quickly. Once you purchase a Silver Membership Pack, you are permanently raised to that membership level. There is no recurring fee for this pack or membership.
  • Like everyone else, you can come play Extended by simply downloading the new Extended client and activating a freeExtended membership with your same Station account.
  • Active subscribing EQII players in good standing are able to copy a limited version of the EQII subscription character to EQII Extended for a fee of $35 (except during Alpha). Your character is copied over with all combat, AA and tradeskill experience intact. You also keep your ATTUNED and NO-TRADE items, as well as all your backpacks, but your use of such items will be restricted by your Extended membership tier. However, nothing else is copied over included coin. Please note that this process copies your character, your EQII live character will remain, as is, on its EQII live subscription server. There will be no character copies from Extended servers to the EQII live subscription servers.
  • Despite the fact that the two services are separate worlds, SOE knows which expansions you've activated and we'll ensure that you have access to those expansions in both of the services, subject to your current Extended membership limitations.
  • Once Extended launches, the 14-day trial will no longer be available to the general public. New players can try the Extendedfree adventure service instead. However, 14-day trial passes for the EQII subscription service will still be distributed by active players on the live subscription service via the Recruit-a-Friend program. This way, friends can play together on the same server and still enjoy free time. The RAF program will be updated at a later point in time to include Extended invitations and rewards.
This is just a sample of the information that can be found on the FAQ page. My only concern is with the Gold and Platinum memberships and how that will differ from the live servers. My guess is that those two payment plans will be geared towards those that have invested a lot of time and effort into the game, but don't want to have to start over on the live servers. Which would make EQ2 live that much more enticing to someone who plans on playing that much.

I really shouldn't let a couple of posts and the subsequent comments from one of them get me so riled up, but it has. It's frustrating to read posts on the future of SOE and EQ2 when no one knows what is going to happen, it's all conjecture at this moment. From what I can gather, there is nothing new in EQ2X besides being free that is going to draw a player away from EQ2 Live if they are already a paying subscriber.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

EQ2 Extended? Yes Please!

I have always liked Everquest 2, but for one reason or another I just haven't stuck with the game for any real significant amount of time, not like WoW. Hmm, I guess when looking back at the MMO's I have played since the launch of WoW, none have been able to grab me like WoW has. Maybe for short amounts of time....but this is a topic for another post.

I am really excited for EQ2 Extended, I know for a fact that once it goes live I will be playing. From the information that has surfaced today I have already planned on purchasing a silver upgrade, I will probably purchase some if not all classes and races and most likely if needed I will purchase the level cap increase from 80 to 90. Why you might ask? Well it's not that I am a huge EQ2 fan or have a load of money sitting around, but instead it's from the fact that I will have the closest thing to a lifetime sub to EQ2. That's my thinking anyways, things could change once EQIIX goes into beta testing.

When compared to what Turbine is doing with LOTRO, is much more in line with what I would want out of a game without a monthly subscription price. And I have just really grown a small amount of disdane towards LOTRO in general, which is sad cause coming out of beta I was very much looking forward to playing. I have never been keen on the small amount of races and classes in LOTRO. Does it need to be to the excess found in Vanguard or EQ2, not at all. I am not a fan of the combat as well; yes there was a change, but I didn't notice it when playing my Warden, and it felt worse when playing my Champion. And let's not forget about the constant running around from one part of the map to another, or the standard gather/kill/collect quests that are enough to drive one insane. Please remember these are my personal gripes about LOTRO, if you are enjoying the game than by all means continue.

I did get invited to the beta for the new and improved LOTRO, and all I can say is that it's pretty much the same game. If you have been playing and are a lifetime or paying sub, no change for you. But if you are like me and have been playing off and on for ages and had hoped the F2P switch would have something to draw you in, guess what, it doesn't. If you are not a paying subscriber now, then there is nothing that the switch will do to entice you into playing again. That may all sound a bit negative, but for me there is nothing in LOTRO that interests me anymore, and being able to log in for free doesn't change that.

Well that's my little rant on LOTRO and why honestly that last bit could be applied to EQ2 as well. Regardless, August could be a nice month for MMO's; Champions Online getting a big update, City of Heroes Going Rogue launches and then the beta for EQ2X.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Dub's Playlist of the Week.

Since finishing Alpha Protocol for the fifth time last weekend I found myself jumping from one game to another as I find something that will hold my attention. I thought Resident Evil 5 would do that, but I ended up starting and finishing that on Monday, my day off. I really enjoy RE5, I had it for the Xbox and bought it when it was on uber sale through Steam a week ago for only $12.50. I do plan on returning to it at some point, being a Games for Windows Live title I don't mind playing more to get me some achievements.

After that it's been a few games; a little bit of The Witcher and Stranglehold, some Empire Total War when I can at work, even some Napoleon Total War multiplayer with a friend. I did play some WoW this week in the hopes of getting my Paladin to level 80 so I can start the emblem grind that has become the end game. I do like many things that WoW does, so much so that I sometimes find myself wondering why other MMOs don't do those things like WoW.

I did have a friend point out why I might not be having the fun I think I should be having and why the game has slowed to a grind; I'm not doing level appropriate content. At level 79 I am currently questing in the Grizzly Hills, content for level 75-77 by the looks of it. I does make sense when thinking about it, I didn't have the instant dungeon finder with my last two characters that made it to level 80. And neither my warrior or mage had the awesome AOE grinding power that the paladin has. So I guess everyone can ignore my whinny post I made about WoW the other day!

I can't forget to mention that I played about twenty minutes of the new Medal of Honor multiplayer beta last night. If you've played Battlefield Bad Company 2, well you've played the new MoH. Shouldn't be too surprising seeing how DICE is working on the multiplayer portion of MoH. Still, it does look good and runs better than BFBC2 does.

Well that's it for this week. Not really sure what to expect gaming wise next week, I just purchased a handful of used PS3 games from Gamestop so I may be slumming it with the console. I am probably going to spend some time playing some of the games I have owned for ever but haven't played much, like The Witcher, and if they don't grab me now then it might be time to trim down the game collection. Or at least put them in the box that's in storage just in case!