Archive for July, 2010

Multiplayer, So Much to Learn

July 31, 2010

I finished the single player campaign in SC2 last night. Phew! The last few missions were long (at least for me). I tried my hand at multiplayer in the newbie, unranked league. I got schooled in my first match, Pid = Terran vs Protoss, and then won the second which was a terran on terran affair. I know this much…I have a lot to learn when it comes to multiplayer!
-Pid

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FreeQ2

July 28, 2010

So what the heck? I go away on a work trip for a week and I come back to find out that EQ2 is going FreeQ2. Well at least in part. I really haven’t had time to look at the pricing scheme, but what I don’t get is that they are releasing this F2P version in addition to their subscription model. I see this as a rather unfortunate idea as veteran players who might want to play with some of their friends who are casually playing EQ2 can’t play on the same servers. I currently am going through a little bit of MMO burnout, so I can see how this model would be good in the long run, but why can’t I take my current account and use it as a F2P one? We’ll see how this shakes out. I’d guess that a number of server mergers are on the horizon for the subscription servers as the population begins to dwindle.

On a side note, the prediction I had for Blizzard and WoW way back when might come true for EQ2 instead. Is there an EQ3 in the works?

-Pid

I R Nerd

July 28, 2010

So I downloaded the 7 gigabyte Starcraft 2 installer a couple of days ago and was going to install it on Tuesday at 1 PM EDT (10 AM EDT) when I saw an advert about midnight release. I mulled it over in my brain:

Pid 1: I want to go to Wal*Mart at 12 AM and get the new SC2!

Pid 2: You are 33 years old, wife, two kids. Seriously?

Pid 1: Well, Duh! It’s S-T-A-R-C-R-A-F-T T-W-O!

Pid 2: Good point. I’ll get the keys.

So there I am standing in Wal*Mart at 11:50 PM Monday night in a conga line of geeks. FYI geeks come in all shapes and sizes. Amazingly I saw not one pony tail. Anyway, geek number one pulls out his credit card…denied. Then he resorts to what I can only assume is rent money to slap down the $80 worth of merchandise he had on the counter. Nice. Geek number five’s credit card gets rejected, so he pulls out $25, and then puts the rest on his credit card. Nice!

Anyway, so at 12:30 AM I was installing Starcraft 2, and at 4 AM I went to bed.

So far the game is fun and the missions are quite engaging. Each of them has a little twist on the normal RTS fare. My one prediction (very mild spoiler) is that the doctor you rescue in mission 4 or 5 double crosses you at some point.

-Pid

It’s Zerg Stompin’ Time

July 25, 2010

Soon my friends, soon!

KERRIGAN!!!!! (Think Rocky and Adrian.)

Beta or Preview?

July 17, 2010

So here I am, minding my own business, checking my email. Letter from my folks, junk mail, junk mail, another letter from my folks, and a letter from SC2betaUS.

Huh?

Beta?

Isn’t the launch in North America in ten days?

I signed up for the beta oh, I dunno, when it really was a beta. Now it is more or less a preview, or a demo. Why do you do these things to me Blizzard? Clearly everyone on the planet is going to buy it, do you think offering me a beta invite a little over a week before launch is going to make me jump up and down and do a happy dance? (For the record, it is quite a sight to see me do a happy dance.)

I’m not really ranting against Blizzard here, but rather just want them to call a spade a spade and a demo a demo. Is that too much to ask?

-Pid

Dragon Age Contemplations

July 12, 2010

I recently commented about the Dragon Age sequel that was recently made public and I was pretty excited about it until I read an awesome post by Ayane over at Moon Over Endor. This is a very well thought out post and really makes you stop to think about the nature of single player role playing games. She laments the loss of true role playing in the genre. A number of things that are mentioned in the post contradict what I was saying in my review of the original game, but seeing them from this point of view makes me wonder if I was one of the many folks that contributed to BioWare taking the game into a new direction from first person role playing to third person role playing.

Anyway, I won’t steal her thunder, but go check out the post if you haven’t already…it is a quality read.

-Pid

What’s an Alternative to Real ID?

July 9, 2010

Well apparently the grasshopper (A.K.A. Blizzard) realized that if all of the ants (A.K.A. us) banded together we could squish them (A.K.A. drop their bottom line). Any number of folks breathed a sigh of relief over this. So what is Blizzard to do if they want to “clean up” the forums? I would suggest rather than causing the people who do post on the sites to feel endangered, empower them instead to make a difference.

There is a business called Bazaarvoice who have filled a niche in our e-universe by selling themselves out to e-commerce sights (i.e. Best Buy, Costco, Macy’s) to essentially patrol their user reviews for inappropriate content. Whatever that partner deems inappropriate, the Bazaarvoice employees plow through the reviews and comments sections of these websites separating the wheat from the chaff.

Why can’t Blizzard do the same thing?

You hire any number of people to work from home to “police” the forums and just get rid of the inappropriate content. If they are on the payroll they will be accountable for their actions (or inactions as it were) and would do a great service to the community.

Would it cost Blizzard money? Absolutely.

Would it be worth it? Absolutely.

Heck you could pay the people with game cards or “Blizzard Bucks” or something, but put a team on staff. In this instance you need quite a few people to tackle the load. Your average forum  moderator probably can’t handle all the traffic the site gets by himself and it would cost too much to have a bunch of career folk on staff doing this. You can however have an army of part time/low wage moderators perform the task.

Regardless of what needs to be done, Blizzard can’t take the easy way out like they tried to do with this Real ID thing. They need to take the road less traveled and do something that will work for the community and not against it. The community sent them that message and they responded by backing down. What is their next step?

-Pid

Dragon Age: the Sequel

July 8, 2010

Well, I guess it is only fitting that the day after I mention that I will buy Dragon Age 2 when it comes out, BioWare decides to actually reveal some data on the new sequel and give a release date!

Bioware’s website and IGN are reporting the following:

Experience the epic sequel to the 2009 Game of the Year from the critically acclaimed makers of Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect 2. You are one of the few who escaped the destruction of your home. Now, forced to fight for survival in an ever-changing world, you must gather the deadliest of allies, amass fame and fortune, and seal your place in history. This is the story of how the world changed forever. The legend of your Rise to Power begins now.

Key Features:

  • Embark upon an all-new adventure that takes place across an entire decade and shapes itself around every decision you make.
  • Determine your rise to power from a destitute refugee to the revered champion of the land.
  • Think like a general and fight like a Spartan with dynamic new combat mechanics that put you right in the heart of battle whether you are a mage, rogue, or warrior.
  • Go deeper into the world of Dragon Age with an entirely new cinematic experience that grabs hold of you from the beginning and never lets go.
  • Discover a whole realm rendered in stunning detail with updated graphics and a new visual style.

Of note, point number 3 is a huge, HUGE point of interest for me. The first time I played through the game (well the only time I made it all the way through really) I played as a warrior. One of the few things I disliked about the game was the fact that you had to micro manage the mage(s) in your party so much that I really didn’t have a lot of time to focus on playing me my character. If I wanted to play a mage named Wynn or Morrigan, I would have rolled one. Hopefully they addressed this problem in the new game. I am curious to see if this game will have less of a party dynamic because of this though.

Anyway, the projected release date for the game is in March of 2011 so it is only 7-8 months away. Keep checking the site as they are releasing a trailer for the game on 8/17/10.

-Pid

Quote to Note

July 8, 2010

Too funny to pass up…

Hordes of female addicts across the nation are jonesing to update their Facebook statuses like unrepentant heroin junkies chasing one last ethereal fix.

-Starr Keshet (TG Daily)

Check out the full post here.

f female addicts across the nation are jonesing to update their Facebook statuses like unrepentant heroin junkies chasing one last ethereal fix.

A Bard’s Tale

July 7, 2010

I noted a review over at IGN for the latest Dragon Age: Origins – Leliana’s Song DLC.

It has been quite some time since I finished the game and wrote this review, and while I stand by my review, I must add that I have not gone back to play it in a long time. I never ordered the expansion pack and I only played a very small amount of the DLC. It is strange because I really enjoyed the game when I played through it the first time, but the couple of times I have gone back to play through again it has not inspired me. I don’t know if it is my lack of time or happiness with EQ2 or what really, but it does seem a shame that it has not garnered more playing time from me.

In any event, I still believe it is a high quality game and it really added to my excitement for the coming of SW:TOR. I hope that there is a sequel as I will definitely get my hands on that.

-Pid