Archive for December, 2009

Windows 7 Still Same Ol’ Windows

December 21, 2009

Well I have been sick and busy and all sorts of other things to keep my posting down, but now a new wrinkle has shriveled into existence. Typically, I never upgrade windows until it hits SP1 on whatever version is the latest. I got a copy of Win 7 free-o-charge from a friend of mine’s Microsoft agreement (I often do some beta testing and such for his IT business) so I bucked my personal rule and loaded it up. Wiped her clean as a baby’s rump and got a fresh new install of Windows 7 Pro. From the very first install it acted kind of funny and I even got the dreaded BSOD once or twice, but then it started working okay and all was well. Well, not too long ago, it all came to an end as apparently there is something Windows does not like about my computer hardware as it gave a BSOD and now will not boot. I’m going to attribute it to my archaic motherboard, but I’m not 100% sure on that.

Now I’m not going to do something stupid like run out and buy a Mac (I shudder to even ponder that), but I prolly need a new MoBo. And for all you non-Christians out there in case you haven’t noticed it’s Christmas time and I am a little strapped for cash (especially after having to do some unexpected maintenance on my car). So needless to say I have a quandry…reload Windows 7 on my computer (seriously when it runs it is a peach), load Vista, or wait until I can justify buying a new MoBo. Ack, what is a guy to do?!

-Pid

Edit: Apparently from what I have read in the last hour or so, my processor does not play well with 64 bit Operating Systems. I have an AMD Phenom 9600 which has multiple reports of giving this problem. I try so hard to support AMD as Intel’s only competitor, but why have a 64 bit chip that doesn’t run on a 64 bit OS very well?!

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DDO Weekend: Pid on the Loose

December 14, 2009

After having spent quite a while in single player land, and loving it I might add, I decided to head back into the land of MMO’s this past weekend. Last week was a disaster on the RL front as I had a water leak at home, caught a cold from my wife, and had to attend a company Christmas event. So feeling a little better and having some free time while my wife baked cookies and/or was in bed I got some good gaming in. Listening to my computer purr while playing a game makes me smile!

Anyway, I started a new character in DDO. I really haven’t progressed all that far with my other character (L5 Fav. Soul) as I only play that one with Robbiebit. I had a hand full of alts that I wound up deleting and started a new one. Meet Pid Foebreaker, the Rogue 1/Ranger 3 dwarf. For some reason I feel compelled to use genre friendly names with this game and I figured with a dwarf it doesn’t sound too out of line to use Pid.

I ponied up the money for the 32 point build not too long ago so I figured I would try something other than a Drow elf. I am nothing but pleased with this guy. I am not one for min/maxing of stats, so this may not be optimal but he is fun to play. I have him specced to be a trap monkey and a DPS guy. Currently he is wielding two +1 Dwarven waraxes and he is kicking axe and taking names. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) I have soloed all of the content so far (cleric mercenary here or there) and have pretty much cleared out the docks of Stormreach.

So why has this been fun? I guess it is because of the same reason as many people have offered, it is really easy to get in and get out of this game. I had half an hour to play before work today and I ran a dungeon. I felt like I actually accomplished something! HALF an HOUR! Crazy! I even got a piece of loot or two. Nothing great, but not bad. Anyway, if you are on Ghallanda server you can find Pid Foebreaker kicking down doors in a dungeon near you.

-Pid

DA:O 1.02 Patch

December 7, 2009

FYI Patch 1.02 is now out for Dragon Age. It addresses a few bugs and some balancing issues, but still does not address the memory leak problem with AMD multi-core processors.

This has been a public service announcement from The Meat Shield.

-Pid

Choose Your Allegiance

December 7, 2009

There is war coming…I can smell it in the air. There has been a tumult brewing for a long time, but it is clear that the powder keg has been sparked and now is the time to choose your allegiance.  Will you side with the superpower of oppression Syp or the champion of “human” rights Ysharros. I am declaring my support for Elvenkind. The armies of Pid-dom are at the beckoned call of Ysharros and his defense of the Elves.

-General Pid

Kneel before Pid! (Always wanted to use that line.)

Batman: AA is Awesome and that’s no Joker

December 7, 2009

I just finished playing through Batman Arkham Asylum a few minutes ago and all I have to say is wow. Action games aren’t typically something I really enjoy, but this got a lot of hype and well lets face it, Batman is cool. Anyway, the game has been out for a long while so I won’t give a formal review. I would suggest that if you haven’t played it, you keep your eyes peeled for bargains as it is worth full retail value, but is awesome at a bargain. Just a quick rundown on my likes and dislikes.

Likes: Interesting story, cool bat gear, Batman’s costume gets beat up as the story progresses, Harley Quinn, most of the puzzles, XBOX controller on Windows

Dislikes: All of the Scarecrow levels, a number of the boss battles were tedious, games for windows live

-Pid

Into the Wild Blue Yonder Via Solar Power

December 4, 2009

On a lighter note than my last post, a solar powered airplane made the first, official flight yesterday. How long before I can fly to work?!

-Pid

Hatewagon for TOR

December 4, 2009

In the recent interview with SW:TOR Devs it was revealed that TOR would have companion characters that would allow people to play the game in a solo manner. This immediately started a posting deluge in the MMO blogosphere where many bloggers are criticizing the move as a way to take the Multiplayer out of MMO and more or less ruin the genre.

Keen from K&G’s Gaming Blog

Tobold

SynCaine at Hardcore Casual

Ravious at KTR

Syp at Bio Break

Now I’m not trying to hide that I’m a big supporter of solo play in MMORPG’s as stated here, but I do believe that there is a reason to have group recommended content in these games as well as having group only content i.e raids. I do think it silly to get up screaming on a soapbox about how this is going to kill the genre that we so love. (I should note that not all of the posts cited above are against companions.)

Now I’m not going to cry here and say because I have a job, wife, kids, house, etc. (translated responsibilities that keep me from gaming at normal times and for great lengths of time) that the developers of MMORPG’s need to cater to me and make them easy. Not that these aren’t valid concerns for companies, but this is not the crux of the point I am trying to make. What I am going to say is that why does the opportunity to solo at points in the game mean that a game has sold out to the masses or gone easy. Can only the Tiger Woods, Tom Brady, and LeBron James of the world play sports? Or can I go out back and pick up a basketball and play on my 9-foot net, or is that ruining the game?

I used to play EQ and for various reasons stopped for a great deal of time. I resubbed over a year later and the game had implemented a mercenary system where you could purchase a mercenary (companion if you will) with in-game currency (not MT’s) that would act like a PC and group with you to fight by your side. It was a great boon for that game as finding groups in low level content was nigh impossible and, unless you were in a guild, it was near impossible to find a group of six people (the designed group size for EQ) to play. The devs designed these mercenaries to slowly become less viable over time to solo with. You could solo (or molo as it was coined) very easily through level 60 or so, but after that it became increasingly difficult to progress in the game by yourself.

There were haters on mercenaries in that game as well (mostly hardcore raiders) but by and large everybody had one and used them when they needed to. In EQ, if you were in a zone and there was a party with 4 PC’s and 2 mercs, they would almost always drop a merc to let you in. Leveling was much easier in groups at higher levels and less grindy, at least from my perspective. The great thing about mercs was that you could play the game from the moment you logged in to the time you logged out. No waiting to find a healer or tank or for a full group. I played with a group of three and when we each had our mercs out, we had a full EQ group. If one of our guildies popped on and said, “hey, can I jump in?” we immediately dropped a merc and let them in. If a random PC came to where we were playing, we’d drop the merc and invite them in. Simple as that. Could the three (six with mercs) of us go raid somewhere together…no because mercs weren’t good enough to bring on a raid even if they were allowed.

The inclusion of mercenaries in EQ did indeed change the game. Did it make an “easy mode?” No…grouping was still required for much of the content, especially the newest content. Were mercenaries forced on you? No…you could easily play without one. (I concede that the early levels without one were tough, but the game is so old that there were no groups to be had at those levels.) Did I prefer to play solo as opposed to grouping? Not really…I liked hanging out with my friends playing the game and would always opt to group with them over soloing. Could I have merc’ed my way to level cap? Sure…I could have by fighting the same small group of mobs for weeks on end and without seeing the majority of the content.

Anyway, I felt angry when reading some of the posts as well as some of the comments on those posts by the MMORPG “purists” that keep saying “stop ruining my genre” because companies are making games that don’t fit their ideals. So what if WoW has 6 billion subscribers and is an “easy” game. Don’t play it! There are still games that thrive that are hardcore games and/or are more akin to what they like. Please, feel free to go play them. The great thing about the increasing number of games in the MMO market is that if you don’t like one…go play another.

I think there is a mass market for the type of game that BioWare is touting and I for one couldn’t be more pleased. If that makes me a casual, fail, easy, (insert term here) gamer, then feel free to print up my name tag. I don’t care what anyone else thinks of me. If I’m having fun in a game, then it is a good game, at least to me.

-Pid

Thoughts on a Crow Remake

December 2, 2009

I saw this article today and it made me really stop to think about what my feelings were on the subject. They have decided to reboot The Crow franchise by remaking the original film. At first I felt complete disgust. If I had to pick one movie that was my favorite of all time (not the best movie of all time, but just my favorite) it would have to be Brandon Lee’s The Crow. I must have watched that movie a total of 6.2 million times in high school and college.

The more I think of the reboot however, it might just be a good thing. The original movie won’t disappear, and if they did it right, it could really be a good thing a la the recent Star Trek movie. If done right there could be a great number of movies or video games or whatever that could add some quality entertainment value. Only time will tell, but at this point I don’t have terribly high hopes. Maybe I’ll get pleasantly surprised…who knows!

-Pid

Work is Killing Me

December 1, 2009

…or at least my blogging that is. Thought I’d pipe in a quick update on what’s what as I just haven’t had time as of late to post.

Thanksgiving last week was great. The time away from work and with my family was awesome. I can’t remember the last time I sat down with my wife and kids and actually ate dinner together. With my work schedule and our busy weekends it is nigh impossible, but of T-day weekend we managed 5 meals together!

In addition to the family time, I did manage to get a fair amount of work done around the house and I also got a lot of gaming in…sweet!

So T-day I was sitting at my parent’s relic of a computer trying to stave off a food induced coma while the majority of my family was playing some rediculous tween game with my niece when I went to popcap.com and decided to try out Plants vs. Zombies…long story short I have been playing daily since.

The fact is I have logged more time in it than I have in Batman: AA which I purchased from Steam for $25 USD! Batman is awesome, yet I keep getting drawn to PvZ! Crazy!

Anyway, I have been having a blast playing these two games while anxiously awaiting my brother-in-law and Robbiebit to get some free time to play DDO. They can take their time at this point…Gotham is calling as well as my Anti-Zombie garden!

-Pid