Thursday, 30 December 2010

Register

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hexThe register is a wonderful thing in school they call the register (that irritating list of names) in the morning to see who is at school that day. Recently i have been absent aside from my mates covering for me and shouting “here” in muffled voices.

The reason I have been away is that I have been focusing on the festivities of Christmas and new year as watching 80’s movies with my daughter (woot, schools out!)

I assure you I am not Blog-faded or blogged-dry I’m just focusing on other things for a few weeks. If anything with my time away from video gaming I have become more aware of the parallels in Hollywood and gaming (don’t you think we need a gamers equivalent of Hollywood?) and have some thoughts I would like to share over the next week or so (yes some of those thoughts are embodied in the Tron movies.)

Also, while I am on the topic, Tron Legacy is awesome, i mean it, its made of over 9000% win! – if you have not seen it GO AND WATCH IT NOW!

for now I leave you with the greatest number in history 241543903 (Google image that bad mother)

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

I am the Hero

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fishI was pondering why I was enjoying Cataclysm when the basic game structure hasn’t changed significantly (though it has been polished to a blinding shine). I think I have figured out why I have fallen back into it.

Well I wrote a blog a while ago about how it was difficult for mmo’s to make the player feel like a hero. Well Cataclysm makes a damn good stab at this and for a good chunk of the time succeeds. Each area seems to have been redesigned to have a plot line running through it and you are the hero that changes everything.

wow-cataclysmNow this is where Blizzard’s new phasing technology come in, as you do get to genuinely get to change thing, as when you go back to an area it has altered. This has been used to a great narrative advantage, to make you the hero. For instance there are a battlefield where I defeated enemies on, when I went back all the enemies had gone. You are the one is responsible and more importantly the bad guys that you defeated 3 minutes ago haven’t respawned waiting for someone else to kill them.

It is a little weird, for many WoW used to be about the end game, now I am somewhat fearful of getting to max level. I have this great epic story where I am the saviour, spy and superhero, and I don’t want it to end at level 85.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

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fishYeah I know it is as cheesy as hell but I am sat here on Christmas day waiting for MAG to patch, so I can use my shiny new Playstation Move with it (see I am a hard-core gamer). So I thought I would wish our handful, erm millions of loyal readers a very happy holidays and hope you get all the gaming goodies you could ever hope for.mag-only-possible-on-ps3

PS sorry if this makes no sense I may be a little tipsy.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

WoW AoC’s levelling isn’t smooth

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fishI have been playing a fair bit of Wow and this evening I felt I have been neglecting Age of Conan. So I boot it up and tried to continue where I left off. Now I have a confession to make. Last time I played Conan I used my accrued offline levels to bump my necromancer from level 65 to 67.

AgeOfConan_LogoNow the reason I did this is because simply put, there were no quests at all that were for my level, and I was getting frustrated. So this evening I finished up the quests that I had for my level (with only 1 death) and handed them in, to again get a bunch of quests that are too high for my level.

Heh I wouldn’t say I rage quit, more frustrated quit. There is a lot I like about Conan and I was hoping that Rise of the Godslayer would have gotten rid of the big content gaps that it had previously suffered, but I guess not. Now I awow-cataclysmm the type of gamer who when he plays an mmo, actually enjoys the questing (when it is done well). Now a lot of Age of Conan’s quests are great, humourous, violent and gritty, there just appears to be not enough of them.

This is in stark contrast to the new levelling in WoW, the quests are also great (though not really gritty) but there are plenty of them and they smoothly move you form one area to the next. So while I am very fond of Age of Conan, do I preserve and desperately do the odd quests I find, or do I pop another couple of levels onto my character and see what happens, because frankly the former seems a little bit like hard work.

Monday, 20 December 2010

EA Removing options

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hexElectronic Arts have been a consistent pain in gamers arses for some time now. Remember that whole Spore thing? then there was the mess about ownership rights with the EA online store, then the fuss made about Mirrors edge piracy. the fiasco is as old as EA them selves.

So when EA release a new expansion for one of my favourite First Person shooters I was thrilled to see it on steam, then less thrilled to read the that it is only viable for those who own BC2 steam version

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Not a problem, i simply decided to buy a box copy… problem, they are not selling box copies so for the first time every i may have to use the terrible EA online store that has a reputation for being well.. shite.

strangely i am so reticent to use the EA store that i am holding back on buying the game in hopes that BC2 goes on sale next week (in the big Christmas steam sale). think about that i would rather re-buy a game from steam than use the EA service.. this is not the attitude gamers should have towards a publisher!

I wonder how many extra copies on steam will be sold just so people can avoid EA like i want to. is this a good thing for sales of a bad thing for the state for EA’s business?

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Special offers?

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hex
I saw today that the LotRO store is offering extra points, so when you purchase some in game store points, you get more than you pay for. a few days ago they had items discounted at something like 30% off. this got me thinking…


With special offers in our Free To Try games (Free to play, unlimited trial.. blah blah blah) should we do reserve our money waiting for these offers or is it best to spend as you want or need to?

Often with matters out side of game i will not buy a graphics card because i think its going to ‘go down’ soon and i often hold back my money with the Steam service because i just know there is a sale coming soon.
I am just wondering if this is a frugal tip for In-Game-Stores or just a tight gamer at work? – is there a difference?

My point is that it is both difficult as a consumer deciding when to spend cash as well as for a developer/publisher, are good sales best to get customers or an evenly low price that never changes?
Just one more thing to worry about while gaming… great ;P

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Are you a mmoger?

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fishAs I have previously mentioned I am back in WoW with a new character, and have been going through for the most part brand new quests. Now I suspect I am a little different from a lot of other players, in that I read the quest text in full when accepting a quest. This has paid great dividend in WoW as a lot of the new quests are genuinely funny, with a few even causing me to literally “lol”.

It got me thinking that if a player never reads any quest text and just picks it up and goes to the point that the quest helper says (which I turned off) , and starts murdering everything that is there, are they really in any way role playing. Now I will be honest that despite having characters in mmo’s on role play servers I have yet to properly role play with others, however I still like to have an idea as to why my character is running around, mashing it up.

You certainly wouldn’t play a single player role play game and cut out all the text. I imagine that something like Dragon Age and Balder’s Gate would be a lot quicker to finish if you just skipped the text and went straight into the action, but that, I fear, dragon_age_delaywould be missing the point significantly.

Of course a lot of the blame for this problem can be laid fairly strongly at the feet of mmo makers. I think things have improved a lot (hell blizzard went back and rewrote most of their old world quests, that should tell you something), but there is still a lot to be done. I guess I am of the believe that you should get everything out of a game that is on offer, and just skipping quest text you are missing out. I think that is still one of the things I like about Age of Conan, that all its quests are conversations, complete with a choice of responses, makes you more attached to your character. Should be interesting to see what people do when The Old Republic launches, as that will apparently have 100% voice acting.

I guess it just disappoints me a little bit that you have these amazing and beautifully crafted stories, and a lot of people just ignore them.

Monday, 6 December 2010

The One True Cast - The Grand Order of the Mad Badger

OTC LOGO

Welcome one and all to the newest and greatest episode of the One True Cast, this week Panda Panda and his ever faithful sidekick Mr HexDSL talk with great excitement about the official OTC LotRO kinship as well as the upcoming patch and the joys of reputation farming.

Listen Now: http://www.mevio.com/episode/259992/the-grand-order-of-the-mad-badger

RSS: http://www.mevio.com/feeds/the-one-true-cast.xml 

Twitter Panda

Twitter HexDSL

Comments welcome

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Quest Hard Audio Blog –Where’s that button?

QuestHard

This week in the Quest Hard audio blog (that’s just a podcast really) We talk about the highs and lows of Steams world domination, the new WoW content, some LotRO thoughts and our mutual ignorance of OnLive. this and much, much more in this fun packed show.

I must apologise about the quality of the show this week as Hex’s audio is much louder than Mr Fish for some strange reason. this only became apparent in editing and there was little we where able to do to correct it. will be fixed next episode i promise.

Get us over at: http://www.QuestHard.com
Our RSS is here: http://feeds.feedburner.com/QuestHard
Get an MP3 Here: http://m.podshow.com/media/25548/episodes/259794/questhard-259794-12-04-2010.mp3

Hex Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Hexdsl
Fish on Twitter: http://twitter.com/hangmansj0e

Jumping.

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hexFor many reasons this week I have been playing games on my phone more than usual (usually in bed while not being able to sleep) and i have noticed something about Android games. here is my massive unravelling of a thought… there’s an obsession that developers have with jumping. no, really, to list just a few games about jumping (the best ones, all available form the Market) Doodle Jump, Abduction 1 & 2, Hyper Jump, Impossible game).

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Most of these games have the same control system, your Alien, Cow, Imp jump and you tilt your device to make him/her/it move side to side collecting power ups when possible. (with the exception of the Impossible game, that's a one button masterpiece)

screenthe reason that i thought it worth mentioning is that i have brought a few of these games even though in principle they are the exact same game. i have to wonder is this is a microcosm of the First Person Shooter genre of gaming, if you try to explain what an FPS is to a none games you may use this sentence “you take role of a person and see out of his eyes, then you shoot stuff and navigate to a goal with the use of guns, grenades and occasionally interact with the environment to solve small puzzles” to make the distinction between games you find your self in the end admitting that its just setting.

The same can be said about MMO’s or racing games, in the end we are playing the same game with a new skin but this is not a bad thing. The first game i can remember getting really addicted to was ‘X-Com: Enemy unknown’ (AKA UFO – alien defence, or something like that) the strategizing skills i learned in that game where transferable to Other RTS games and then when i discovered DOOM the skills i learned about reaction and awareness of environment helped me in all games that i played after it.

Now I;'’m not saying that these skills are of any real use to you but my point is about genres not education. i wonder if these Jumping games have become so popular because they are another knew Genre that was only made possible with the invention of the accelerometer and soon enough we will begin to see real deviations of this theme and begin to see some games using this mechanic as a basis for a more robust game.

what is also interesting is that these games are simply not viable on the PC or home console and have a home exclusively on mobile devices. is this just the first genre created by this platform? 

i hope that we soon see some of the lessons learned about simplicity move over to the PC. in the end a simple control system (like tilting) can still be attached to a great game.

Quest Hard is in WoW

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Quest like you mean it!!

As Cataclysm is less than a week a way now. I have created a guild in World or Warcraft for those wishing to level and see the new world and experience the new quest, areas, races, and eventually raids with good mature and well, down right daft other players Smile
On Steamwheedle Cartel EU RP server its not up and running. Altho its on a RP server, RP is not essential for the guild, so come and  join us and enjoy the new world that is Azeroth.
We do have a 10 man Vent server up and running and soon a website to go along with it. Whisper me in game (Towani) my gnome fairy (priest) or send me an in game mail/ or get me on twitter/ raptr
All are welcome from newb to rerolled Veteran.
See you there. FOR THE HORDE…. I mean er.. Alliance!!!!

Raptr Forum Signature

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

So is it a brave new World, of Warcraft?

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fishAs you may know, the cataclysm has hit WoW (even though the expansion hasn’t been release yet). What this essentially means is that the World, the quests, the levelling curve and character progression have all changed, or so Blizzard claim. So I created a new character on a new server to see how true this holds.

Now the character I chose is a paladin, because I had tried a paladin ages ago and did not enjoy it at all. I guess it was a test of sorts, could Blizzards many tweaks make me like a class I didn’t enjoy. Well it turns out in this case they could. MMO’s are always about rewarding players for levelling, and in this Blizzard finally seemed to have got it spot on. Giving you cool abilities earlier on and making your character feel powerful and useful within only a few levels.

I should also point out that the way the quests lead you from one quest hub to the next is 105623_f260brilliant, though after all the practice Blizzard have had it shouldn’t come as a surprise. The other thing that really surprised me is that every single quest I picked up was just right for my level, none that were either too easy or too difficult.

I have got to say Blizzard have done a great job of polishing up the old world of Azeroth, it looks great and varied. Some areas seem to be more changed than others, but they all look good. Those of you have been reading my blogs for a while may have noticed that there is a distinct possibility of a but, and you are right.

I am enjoying it, but have I fallen in love with it again? Humm I am not so sure. At level 27 we got to a new quest hub, to find that all the quests we picked up were exactly the same as before. Ok perhaps completing them was a bit smoother  but that is not the point. Also I became rather aggravated when we failed a escort quest, when we were him with a huge lag spike (generally ping is not ben an issue). I am going to try and see all the content before making a definite decision to stick with it. I intend to create a horde goblin when the expansion is out, as I have never really played horde, so it should be a lot fresher. It might be that I expected exceptional and just got excellent, I shouldn’t be disappointed, but I am a little.