FedEx sucks

February 18, 2011

No computer until Monday. Thanks. Have a nice weekend.
DIAF.


Dungeons Review (off the demo)

February 17, 2011

Can you do a review off a demo? Yes? Cool.

Dungeons is billed as the spiritual successor to Dungeon Keeper (Google it WoW kiddies). That’s a tall order, as DK really was special for a lot of reasons, and many of them being little more than ‘it just all kinda came together’. I’m not sure HOW you design to recapture that, other than throw stuff together and hope it all works out. So based on the demo, does Dungeons succeed?

Knee-jerk reaction is yes. Designing the dungeon feels fun, the humor is there, and watching things happen is almost as much fun as making things happen. Does it feel like a game that’s going to dominate a major chunk of time, something that just overwhelms everything else and makes you go nuts? I don’t think so, although the demo is limited here and you don’t really get a great feel for the long-term or just how ‘sandbox’ the sandbox mode is going to be. The semi-sandbox game you get in the demo is good for 2-3 attempts (at most) before you have seen enough to move on.

But the biggest hurdle IMO for Dungeons has almost nothing to do with the game itself; it’s that it’s on Steam, and I’d be shocked if Dungeons was not a $5 special at some point, possibly as soon as 6 months after release. So unless you are just dying to play something like this, or the demo blows you away, why buy now? Aside from price, whatever bugs or issues the game has will be better off 6 months from now as well, so again, why buy now?

Once the game drops to the $5-15 range, I’m there, and I’d recommend the demo to anyone at all interested, it’s worth the download.


F2P Entitlement

February 17, 2011

Today’s shining star:

Geting 72 IP for playing good and finishing teh game fast , making expansive Champions , they want us to buy RP , makinh more skins ans no server fix , I play LoL because it’s a free and fun Game , i don’t have money to buy RP , now I get low IP , i can’t buy all champs or build my runes .
Really guys ?!?!

This is an extreme example, but the amount of people who feel entitled to everything because a game is ‘free’ is amazing, especially when we are talking about a game like League of Legends, which actually IS free to fully play. You don’t hit a level cap and have to pay to continue, you can’t spend money to buy power, and aside from fluff and minor convenience items (not to be confused with ‘convenience’ items that are basically required to actually play like in many F2P games), you really don’t pay for anything.

Yet when the formula for earning in-game points is tweaked to give MORE points for longer games and less points for shorter ones (with the overall goal to keep average gains the same if not higher), all hell breaks loose and every leech and parasite grabs their virtual protest board and hits the e-streets. I have no doubt those some iProtesters own a sparkle pony or three, and can’t wait to pre-order the next CoD game.

One of the smartest things Aventurine ever did was separate their forums into customers and everyone else. I’d love for Riot to do the same with LoL. It would not completely stop the madness (just like ForumFall is still alive and ‘well’), but man, it would at least clean some of this stuff up and put it in the designated trash bin (free general board).


Rift interest: Kinda high

February 16, 2011

Exhibit one:

Top Posts

Top Posts

Exhibit two:

Search Terms

Exhibit three: Not being able to log in and actually play last night, the first night of open beta.

The last one was, admittedly, a somewhat weak attempt. At just before 10pm EST I loaded up Rift, got to the server selection screen, and had the servers/characters piece load with a bit of a delay. When I selected the server, nothing happened, and eventually I got a disconnect message and was asked to retry. Did so twice, no go, gave up and went to play M&B:W.

So while I indeed could not connect, it’s not like I really tried that hard (compared to, say, F5’ing for two days straight just to buy Darkfall, or using the Contra code to log into LoL multiple times). Still, first time I’ve ever experienced something like this with Rift, and while it’s a negative (that whole “I can’t play” thing), it’s no doubt due to the fact that an ‘unexpected’ (can anyone claim they are surprised by how many people are interested in their open beta anymore?) surge in player interest.

This better not happen during the head-start or when the game officially goes live though. Hopefully in that regard, Rift WON’T feel like 2004 WoW.


Computer Update

February 15, 2011

The good news: The computer has shipped.

The bad news: FedEx expects it to arrive Monday.

Anyone work for FedEx that wants to do me a favor and bump the shipment to deliver on Friday instead? That would be nice, thanks.


Gaming while we wait for Rift

February 14, 2011

Waiting for the Rift early start has, surprisingly, been painful. I’m just very, very ready to get going officially and see how everything plays out. I’m curious how the servers will fair. I’m curious to see how the game handles so many players in one area after all these beta rounds. And most of all, I’m curious to see how sucked-in I get with the game. When WAR came out, despite all its inevitable issues, I had a blast playing with people well into tier 4. Even if Rift is just that all over again (and I expect it to be much more), that’s still good gaming. But for now, we wait.

In League of Legends, I just can’t break out of the 1200s. Every three game winning streak that puts me at 1250+ is followed by 2-3 losses that drop be back to just over 1200. When I jungle with Warwick our lanes get dominated. When I mid with Teemo our duo-lane gets rocked, our jungler can’t gank to save his life, and at the end Teemo is just not a hard-carry who can solo-win games. When I go with Shen, my team plays dance-dance-revolution as I die first, they get rolled after, and the guy who I ult to save him so he can keep dealing damage runs so far out I’m totally out of taunt range. It’s tragic yet comical really.

More than knowing builds, selecting the right champs, or buying wards, playing scared will cost you a game. Bad players play scared. Watching Aria play around the 900 level, basically every game is like this. Way too many games at 1200 are also like this.

People see a 4v5 opportunity in a lane (one enemy is visible in the top lane) and rather than jump on the enemy, they dance around and stall. The whole team will sit at a tower to ‘defend’ while only three enemies keep them there; the other two are off farming and getting solo-lane XP while your team splits one lanes XP five ways, with two lanes of XP being wasted. Bad players will wait for the enemy to start a 5v5 with them, rather than starting their own. It’s not difficult to understand that if you have to react to what the enemy is doing, rather than the other way around, you have already lost. That if a fight ends with three enemies dead at the expense of two teammates, that’s a good trade. That a carry exchanging kills/deaths with a support is a good trade for your team, etc.

Hopefully Riot adds a replay function soon, so people can watch top-tier play and learn some of this stuff. Back when I played Warcraft 3 at a decent level, watching top player replays with commentary was invaluable, as they not only explained what they were doing, but why, and it almost always comes down to forcing your will on your opponent and making them react to you rather than being passive and reacting to them.

Finally, my current Mount and Blade: Warband game is moving along slowly (Day 500+). I now have eight lords in my kingdom, and at the moment we are at peace with the rest of the world. Just before this it’s been constant fighting, and I’ve had close to a dozen siege defenses now were my 300ish defenders stop an army of 1000+ at Uxkhal or Praven (yes, oddly enough, my kingdom is basically the land Swadia starts with. This was unintentional for the most part). I can’t say I see a real ‘end’ here, as right now just keeping my eight lords happy is tough, and we don’t even own that much territory. The plan however is to slowly expand one castle at a time, hopefully securing the Nord area to our North, before pushing into Veigar territory in the North-West. That said, one bad round of “everyone declares war on you” and we might be back to holding out at just our cities of Praven, Suno, and Uxkhal.


Today’s Rift Hype: The carebears will stare but won’t care

February 11, 2011

Basically this.

Finally, carebears will play by carebear rules on their PvE servers, and the sociopaths who do nothing but grief noobs will play by their rules on the PvP servers.

How hard was this to do? How hard is it to see that what works for PvE players might not work for PvP players? Good stuff right here. Hillsbrad Foothills 2004 in 2011.

Now, how long until Blizzard copies this for WoW PvP servers? After all, they need to get back to that ‘core’ Horde vs Alliance theme. Again. For real this time. Promise. Buy a pony.


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