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.


Doing my part to keep the massive Rift hype going

February 10, 2011

Since everyone is doing it, I’m just here to state that I plan to continue to over-hype Rift so all of my readers are horribly, horribly disapointed a month after release when they realize it’s just a solid MMO.

So, once again, Rift > God, best MMO of all time, 100% feature-complete and awesome, and it will get you laid. Trust me. Pre-order today before it sells out!


Bobby Kotick knows gaming!

February 10, 2011

Bobby Kotick is amazing.

Every single time he is quoted, I hate him just a little bit more, and at current hate levels, that’s impressive. Not only is he hell-bend on bleeding franchises dry, but it’s going to be a cold day in hell before he is responsible for bringing us anything like Minecraft, UO, Myst, or anything remotely creative and new. You will not only buy his sequels, but damn it, you are going to pay $15 a month/level for them as well! How can a man feed his children on just $60 up front

I like how they explain that the music genre died because of the need to buy instruments (which were massive profit machines), rather than, oh I don’t know, the genre being worked like a mule with rushed sequel after rushed sequel to cash in on the fad. Fast forward a few years, Call of Duty is being retired because shooting people is bad, and Bobby is now focused on bringing more “insert 2013 buzz word” to Farm-Blizzard-Ville.

Of course my favorite part was this:

Kotick emphasized that its current assets, like “World of Warcraft: Cataclysm” are inherently social.

Bahahaha. “Looking for silence random PUG, no talking, just mashing!” Oh yes, so inherently social, and getting more-so daily (get it).

(Yes, I know WoW is actually more social than Mario on the Wii, but facts and logic ruin good snark)


League of Legends: Warwick guide

February 10, 2011

This is nothing terrible new, but I’ve had a lot of success with it, going from low 1000s to 1250+ now. (This plus Teemo, but Teemo is just OP atm)

Basically at sub-1200 ELO having a jungler is not 100%. It can be if you play one, and that alone increases your chance of winning. I find WW to be the best non-banned rare-picked jungler, and the build I use for him now is not something I’ve seen used extensively.

I run HP quints (thinking of switching them out for AS or HP/lvl), armor pen reds, dodge yellow, MR/lvl blue. 21/0/9 (skip the crit damage boost in offense, xp boost, 1 point in buff duration). Smite + Ghost. I don’t like flash on WW as I feel Ghost gets me out of more situations, and has a shorter CD.

Start cloth + 2 HP pots (you will have 125 gold left over, that’s fine). Blue buff, ask your team to cover, smite the golem right away to start the cooldown, pop a pot, pop your W, should finish the golem at around 50% HP (depending on crits/dodge). Go wolves, then red buff (smite should be up, use it asap on lizard), two golems, etc. You should be using smite whenever it is up. Don’t save it for bigger stuff, just use it asap on whatever. That 5 bonus gold adds up.

My general build is merc treads, wriggles, spirit visage, madreds, then either hexdrinker if they are magic-burst heavy, cleaver if they are armor heavy, or bloodthurster if you need more sustained dps. GA works if you need to be more tanky and your dps is fine ( say vs an all squishy team with a sick ap/ad burst mix)

Why the build works: with just merc treads (buy boots+madreds first trip back, finish mercs after wriggles)) wriggles, visage and madreds (buy the bow and pick first, then finish the whole thing) you have around 120 Armor and MR, decent HPs, decent CDR, decent lifesteal, a free ward, CC duration reduction, the 500 damage creep proc, the %HP damage proc, and the %HP lifesteal boost. Every single piece is key for WW, and all of it stays helpful the entire game (the 500 damage proc is great for fast kills on dragon and baron, or just to speed-clear the jungle or a creep wave, plus with lifesteal you regen HP like crazy. Without wriggles, you don’t have this late-game when you upgrade madreds).

Jungle to 6, but don’t miss an earlier chance to gank if your 1v2 lane is getting pushed hard and they are low. Soon as you hit 6 you should be ganking heavily. If you don’t at least attempt 2-3 ganks before lvl 10 you are doing it wrong. Even if the gank just sends the enemy back to base, that’s still a XP/gold advantage for your team, and it makes them more cautious to push when they come back. Try to get the last hit on a champ as a feed WW can carry a game hard, in part because the better you are doing, the faster you can clear the jungle/dragon, which kinda snowballs you. Saving Q for last-hits is a good way to do this. Just don’t abuse it, especially if you KS from a hard-carry.

Don’t initiate with your ult. This is the single biggest WW mistake IMO. Run up to people and hit them with Q, pop W, and have E running. Use your ult to either interrupt a key enemy ult, regen HP when you are at 25% or lower, or to stop someone from running away (ulting people who have just flashed is a good move for instance, as WW’s ult has great range).

You don’t want to be the first in a fight, but you also don’t want to be the last. You have great lifesteal between Q and your auto-attacks, and with this build you are very tanky as well. During a fight obviously focus on the dps, but use your Q on whichever enemy has the highest base HP, as this will lifesteal the most HP for you. (Against someone with 3k+ HP, Q heals you for almost 50% in one swing)

If they send in their tank early, don’t be afraid to engage him and auto-attack+Q. Mana should be a non-issue for you late and you do some considerable damage to tanks, plus you lifesteal far more HP than they dish out. Just be sure to switch off them when the enemy dps moves in.


Accepting beta feedback: I don’t even…

February 10, 2011

From Ravious at KTR:

Trion Worlds said that the game is on such a stable base that the devs are actually able to work on requested game improvements that are received through beta feedback rather than trying to plow through work that should have been done before beta.

The above seems like such an obvious thing, making changes based on beta rather than running a beta and still just finishing what you already had planned, but I wonder how many MMOs have actually done this? God knows I’ve been in plenty of betas, closed or open, where it seemed we were there just to double-check the work, and no real changes were made based on feedback that was not “this causes the game to be unplayable”.

Maybe this also explains the worry some have about Trion listening too much to the forum-posting minority rather than designing the game the way they intend to. We are so conditioned to have our beta feedback ignored that, when it’s actually accepted and incorporated, it shocks us. Certainly if Trion makes changes that help the vocal minority at the expense of the general majority (or just makes fan-based changes that are bad for the game overall), this will be an issue, but so far, from a distance, I don’t believe that’s the case.


Computer, gaming update

February 9, 2011

Computer update: The beast has been ordered, and so far everything with Digital Storm has gone well. Their forums are extremely helpful in terms of configurations, and they have been sending me email updates frequently. The one call I had to make was pleasant, and to someone actually in the US. So nice to be able to fully understand a customer service rep. Estimated ship time is 10-15 business days from today, so between the 23rd and the 2nd. My birthday is the 24th. Just sayin’ DS…

In terms of gaming, it’s really been more of the same of late. Still climbing my way back up in the League of Legends solo queue (1250+ ELO, finally), while Aria is trying to climb out of the sub-1000 sewer. She is growing into quite the little rager :tear:. I’m also trying to better establish a kingdom in Mount and Blade: Warband, but so far I’m struggling to get any lords to join me despite having good standing with many of them. I’ve not been finding enough time to put into Darkfall of late. At most I log in to do some farming, but I’ve kept up with NA server happenings and it seems my alliance is intent to really stir things up. I’ll have to log in to catch some of the siege action, especially once the new PC arrives.

Finally the Rift CE has been pre-ordered x2. Once we get a little closer to the head-start, I’ll post which server Inquisition will be playing on. It’s going to be a RP-PvP server. RP because that tag helps to filter out the super-mutants (at least partially), and PvP for, well, obvious reasons. It looks like I’ll be running things, at least initially, as both Ara and Boink are sitting this round out. Please don’t talk to me without full epics. Thanks.


Current system setup plan

February 8, 2011

After some research, I think this is the setup I’m going with. Price right now sits at just under $2,400. Direct link: http://www.digitalstormonline.com/comploadsaved.asp?id=485181

Specifications:
Chassis Model: Special Deal Hot Seller – Cooler Master HAF 932
Exterior Finish: – Standard Factory Finish
Trim Accents: – Standard Factory Finish
Processor: Intel Core i7 2600K 3.40GHz (Unlocked CPU for Extreme Overclocking) (Quad Core)
Motherboard: ASUS P8P67 Pro (Intel P67 Chipset) (Features USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s)
System Memory: 4GB DDR3 1600MHz Digital Storm Certified Performance Series (Highly Recommended) (Hand Tested)
Power Supply: 750W Corsair TX (Dual SLI Compatible)
Expansion Bay: – No Thanks
Hard Drive Set 1: Operating System: 1x (80GB Solid State (By: Intel) (Model: X25-M MLC Edition) (Extreme Performance)
Set 1 Raid Options: – No Thanks
Hard Drive Set 2: Multimedia\Data: 1x (1TB Western Digital Caviar (7200 RPM) (64MB Cache) (Model: Black Edition WD1002FAEX)
Hard Drive Set 3: Backup\Misc.: – No Thanks
Optical Drive 1: DVD-R/RW/CD-R/RW (DVD Writer 24x / CD-Writer 48x)
Optical Drive 2: – No Thanks
Internet Access: High Speed Network Port (Supports High-Speed Cable / DSL / Network Connections)
Video Card: 1x NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 1.2GB (Includes PhysX Technology)
Add-on Card: – No Thanks
Sound Card: Creative Labs X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional (PCI-Express Slot Based)
Extreme Cooling: AIR: Stage 1: Noctua NH-U12P SE Dual 120mm Fans High Performance Cooler
H20 Tube Color:- Not Applicable, I do not have a FrostChill or Sub-Zero LCS Cooling System Selected
Chassis Airflow: Standard Factory Chassis Fans
Internal Lighting: Internal Chassis Lighting System (Blue)
Enhancements: – No Thanks
Chassis Mods: – No Thanks
Noise Reduction: – No Thanks
Boost Processor: FREE: Overclock the processor between 3.6GHz to 3.9GHz
Boost Video Card: – No Thanks, Please do not overclock my video card(s)
Boost Memory: – No Thanks, Please do not overclock my memory
Boost OS: FREE: Yes, Disable and tweak all of the non-crucial services on the operating system
Windows OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (64-Bit Edition)
Recovery Tools: Windows Recovery Toolkit (Bundled with Windows 7 CD)
Virus Protection: – No Thanks
Office: – No Thanks
Benchmarking: – No Thanks
Install/Test Game: FREE: Hot-selling game with a NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 or above graphics card
Display: – No Thanks
Surge Shield: – No Thanks
Speakers: – No Thanks
Keyboard: – No Thanks
Mouse: – No Thanks
External Storage: – No Thanks
Exclusive T-Shirt: FREE: Digital Storm T-Shirt – Grey (Large)
Priority Build: – No Thanks, Ship Within 5-15 Business Days After Order Is Successfully Processed
Warranty: Life-time Expert Customer Care with 3 Year Limited Warranty


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