Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 ends, I give out some awards

I didn't accomplish too much in gaming this year. My biggest feat I suppose was level capping in RIFT and getting fully equipped in purple raid gear only to have it trivialized a few weeks later when Storm Legion launched. By then I had had enough and lost all interest. I got one level in Storm Legion and dropped my subscription and just never went back.

This was the year of the board game for me. If you look back over my posts and see all the board games I played I got a lot of time in. Near the end of 2012 I got lazy and tapered off quite a bit and went back to computer gaming. Now I have this itch to complete games I largely ignored due to MMO addictions.

I have put time in on Dishonored, Borderlands 2, Skyrim, Starcraft 2, Fallout 3 and others. I even went back to Diablo 3. I guess I am at the point where MMO's are not that fulfilling anymore however I logged a TON of time in Guild Wars 2 due to how easy it was to play and get in and out. I played GW2 a lot like a console game which I still feel it is. There is very little community activity in that game, no real need to group, pretty bad dungeons and empty low level areas already in its young life.

As time goes on I play it less and less but sometimes it is fun for the combat.

Next year my goal is less MMO time and more time finishing these over 200 games plus I own on STEAM as well as cranking out some XBOX360 Kinnect action with the girlfriend.

I dont have a list for things that were good or bad as I did post a small one on Twitter which I will repeat here. Take it with a grain of salt from a very jaded MMO player. I even turned my back on World of Warcraft skipping the dreadful Mists of Pandaria altogether. After 9 long years my run in that game just....ended with no regrets.

Worst PC Game I played: The War Z

Best PC Game I played: This is a tough one. I played A LOT of Minecraft still but that snuck in for 2011. Overall I loved Guild Wars 2 but my RAPTR time was front loaded early, then it cooled off. Also do I take into account MMO's or non MMO games? I had a ton of fun in Diablo 3 and Borderlands 2. At this point I may have some sort of strange 3 way tie in games with Guild Wars 2 (although its faults are REALLY starting to show), Diablo 3 and Borderlands 2 which is a very well done game.

Worst Movie: The Dictator.

Best Boardgame: I had a blast with Runebound and its expansions but that is an old title. For a new game I really enjoyed the Dungeons and Dragons Drizzt, Ravenloft and Ashardalon games.

Worst Boardgame: Zombicide without a doubt. But I would like to add of course that ANY game that involves rum trading, agriculture or is Eurotrash should be added to this category forever and always.

Best sports moment: Denver going 13-3 of course but a runner up is Lovie Smith getting fired in Chicago

Worst TV Show: Is and continues to be Whitney, the lame comedy? on NBC that does not produce one laugh ever....and uses a laugh track. This show has been shuffled around, uses cliched and stale jokes from the 1990's we have heard over and over about couples and yet it somehow continues to make it out of the slum. Meanwhile quality shows like Men of A Certain Age get canned.

I wont be voting on best movie sorry. Movie tastes are just far too different to post likes and dislikes. When I look back at the movies that really struck me as terrific I cannot say I had one film that was just awe inspiring but I know that I did watch the Avengers about 7 times. Not in theatres no but once I got it digitally I did watch it a TON. I think that perhaps that was my favorite movie. Now of course there are so many categories and this topic can go back and forth but for pure pulp action and fun that was the movie for me.

When I look at the PC games I played the most some weird titles pop up. Fallout 3, Minecraft, Champions Online. Ones you would not expect to see hours and hours on. Somehow it is the pop in and pop out quickly aspect I love.

I expect 2013 to be the year of Warhammer 40k again as well as many non MMO computer games. I may get back into PC wargaming but I am really burned out on World War 2 titles. We will see how I feel once the summer rolls around and the GenCon 2013 itch starts to kick  in.

Until then have a good New Years. I post a lot more now on Google + and Twitter so look for my adventures to be put on those sites as well.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas 2012 Update

Christmas peaked early for me this year as I got a new car, a nVidia GTX570 and a new Android phone. At that point I was done so present wise it is a slow time and I am happy with that tech stuff I got earlier.

My New Years Resolution this coming year is to catch up and finish all these games on +Steam I have purchased. First up was Borderlands 2. I am up to level 12 with a Siren and 10 with a Commando. I easily spent over 5 hours in the game the past two days.

Then I went and put over 6 hours into +Dishonored as well. I can't say that I did my best on the stealth aspects. I like the world it is set in and the story but I cant help to think that just running around and killing everyone makes no difference at all as opposed to being stealthy. It is fun but not as fun as Borderlands 2 or Farcy 3.

I spent a about 2 hours in Farcry 3 as well before trying out some older games like Command and Conquer 2 Red Alert. Let me tell you...if you have forgotten the definition of TANK RUSH then look no further than going back and trying this classic again. Within 17 minutes I was getting nuked and then blown off the board by the computer AI. Having forgotten all the build orders I got absolutely and totally owned.

I also re-installed RAGE (a bit linear now that I play it a second time) mainly due to the new DLC and I put Dragon Age back on my PC to really give that a sit down and try it out. Of course this barely scratches the surface of the games I own but it is a start.

Add to that the starting of a Grey Knight army for Warhammer 40k and I have quite a busy year laid out ahead of me.

I managed to get the wash on my squad of Grey Knights over the weekend and I will finish them up next week hopefully.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Grey Knight Strike Squad

Have not been doing much PC gaming other than Kerbal Space Program and Minecraft. I may dab in a little EQ2 here in a bit since I just cannot stand Guild Wars 2 at the moment.

In my preparation for Warhammer 40k I finished building a 5 man Grey Knight Strike Squad which is not as big as I want it to be. I figure I will need 3 more boxes to flesh this list out to start. I want two squads of 10. Luckily, even by GW standards, plastic Grey Knight troop boxes are relatively cheap. I want this mainly because for every 5 Grey Knights in the squad I can swap in another Psycannon. My army also has the advantage of Combat Squads which means even though they are purchased as a 10 man unit, I can deploy them in two different 5 man units and locations

I also want 5 more Terminators. Unlike most armies my Terminators are TROOP and that means GAME ON. Not much else to report other than a link.

Our group that plays miniature games together has a forum that you can find here:

Our group Twitter is here (mostly 40k, Fantasy news)

We like to avoid Facebook because it just doesnt handle groups and such too well plus we like categories and need lots of organization. We have been at this since 2004 after all.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Kerbal Space Program: Growing pains

Thanks to a bunch of fellow bloggers alerting me to this title (mainly Tipa who is usually well ahead of the curve) I have been enraptured lately with this space simulation program.

Imagine if you will taking the Sims, Sim City and Minecraft and setting it in the vein of a space program simulator the likes of which Tom Hank's From the The Earth to the Moon documented.

Now erase Electronic Arts as a publisher and make it an indie game with user community mods and set a price of 23 dollars and you can imagine you have pretty much the best thing since sliced bread.

The Kerbal Space Program, or KSP for short, can be found here:

Community mods are published here:

There is a large Google + Community here:

So imagine if you will building your own rockets, spacestations, flying to distant planets, making space colonies and doing all this in a sandbox environment and thats the Kerbal Space Program. Plus the game is constantly under development so in the future missions will be added.

From the website is a synopsis:

Main Features:
  • The Vehicle Assembly Building and the Space Plane Hangar allows players to build spacecraft out of any imaginable combination of parts.
  • Fully-fledged, Physics-based Flight Simulation ensures everything will fly (and crash) as it should.
  • Take your Kerbal crew out of the ship and do Extra Vehicular Activities
  • Fly out to Moons and other Planets
  • Procedural Terrain delivers detailed terrain at a vast scale. The Kerbal Planet is 600km in radius!
  • Mod-enabled, allows players to create new content and modify the game.
  • Ship systems. Keep an eye out for engine temperatures and fuel levels, and try not to explode.
  • Build ships with multiple stages, and jettison parts away as they burn out.
  • Full control over the staging sequence allows for complex ships and advanced functionality.
Being the total space nerd that I am I decided to take my space program in steps. The first hours I spent playing were building rockets that were functional and sturdy enough to get me into orbit. Along came the Kerbal One.

That lovely beast got me to about 244,000m in orbit. As I refined Kerbal One I added thrusters to control the space capsule and launched another orbital flight. This was Kerbal Two. Kerbal Two achieved a small orbit and successfully tested the RCS thrusters for future missions.

The Kerbal Two came down over the ocean and I considered that a successful mission. I want to launch a few more rockets and test landings with multiple parachutes in my next phase. I have yet to establish a total circular orbit around the planet Kerbal (or Earth as some may know it) so that is my next goal. 

The game can be as complicated as you make and there is a demo, but like Minecraft the demo does not even touch the tip of the iceberg and is missing many features. 

For an overview of the game check out the many YouTube videos.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Building the Grey Knight Army part one: Terminators

My goal this time around in Warhammer 40k was to build one squad at a time, paint it and then move on to the next squad so that I was not overwhelmed and ended up with a sea of grey on the board come Adepticon time here in Lombard Illinois.

An army in Warhammer 40k, or Fantasy for that matter, can take months to get used to. You have to explore every option, try every tactic and see for yourself how they play out. If you don't have a lot of friends games can be far and few between. At any rate the best you can usually do is a game a week. At 3-4 hours a pop that is a huge commitment. Sticking to one army has always been a problem for me so I have decided to take an approach that rewards painting with more models.

First up is the usual Grey Knight Terminator squad. This consists of 4 terminators and a Justicar who is basically the leader of the squad. Now each terminator when you design the army can be kitted out to have different weapons. The most important of the two are the Force Sword and the two handed Halberd. The Halberd confers +2 initiative in hand to hand combat while the Force Sword gives +1 to invulnerability to a save if they have it. So basically that takes a terminator invulnerability save to 4+. Which is nice. It is a tough call on which to use so what I decided to do was magnetize the hands of every Grey Knight to have swappable weapons.

First up was my General. This figure is actually Castellan Crowe but for most of the games we play it will be a Brother Captain. This figure was easy to assemble since he was Fine Cast.

Next up was the bases and the lower torsos attached to them for the terminators. I also put the grit and sand on the base so that when I prime them it seals the gravel in and gives the base some texture.

I prepped the torsos and got the legs affixed to the bases

I made sure to add the cape and added features to the Justicar to make him stand out. I then magnetized each weapon to to his hand so that they could be fully swappable. I use the magnets form this website and have a collection of various sizes:

Next up I put magnets on every Force Sword and Halberd and for now ignored the Falchions because I just do not see that load out working for me.

I made one Grey Knight terminator able to hold the Brother Banner which is like a standard bearer.

This method also saves money. While Games Workshop would prefer you to buy models for each loadout I just don't see that happening. However I will admit I was very impressed with this modeling kit as they provided tons of extra bits and cool add ons to put on the models. I had forgotten how much fun it was to work with a good kit and my terminators will for sure look different than most people's.

When all was said and done it was fun to do and here is the final look at the squad. Now the hard part: painting.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Star Trek Into Darkness teaser trailer

Oh my my. Here we go!

The sad state of a wasted Warhammer 40k license

There has been a dearth of decent Warhammer 40k games. The only semi playable iteration of the tabletop gaming classic has been Dawn of War and Dawn of War 2. I didn't like Dawn of War 2 so much. To me the  game was basically move to a spot, kill mobs, then move to another pre determined spot and rinse repeat over and over. I missed the freedom and the base building of the first game. 

Back in the early days we had the SSI classics such as Rites of War. That was the closest we came to having a great title.

Also why always RTS? I think that RTS games are generally run of the mill and the genre has not changed in literally decades. Space Marine was too Gears of War for me and really not that fun.

Someone needs to come in and make a good turn based Warhammer 40k game. I would even pay for digital army downloads. Of course Games Workshop being the way they are will limit this because they do not want to pull revenue from their overpriced tabletop market. 

Along comes news of this:
SEGA® of America, Inc. and SEGA® Europe Ltd. today announced that Creative Assembly™, award-winning creator of the Total War™ series, and SEGA® Group have entered into a multi-title licensing deal with Games Workshop® to create videogames based in the Warhammer® universe of fantasy battles.
“With this year being our 25th anniversary” A new high-calibre development team has been set up at Creative Assembly’s UK studio to work alongside the existing Total War, Alien™ IP and Mobile teams on the first Warhammer title in the deal, scheduled to launch from beyond 2013. 
“With this year being our 25th anniversary,” said Tim Heaton, Studio Director at Creative Assembly, “it seems fitting for us to embark on such a dream project with such a well-established partner. The incredibly rich and detailed Warhammer world is something we grew up with, and has left an indelible imprint on us as both designers and gamers.” 
More Fantasy titles? WHY? Why not go the opposite direction and do something NEW and give us 40k content? 

What can we expect? What kind of titles? We all know that Warhammer 40k Online was a dismal failure and never got off the ground so what is left to explore? MMO games are for sure OUT of the question.

Turn based that is what. Make it online. Give us downloadable content, armies, heroes whatever you can do. I would be all over it. Imagine a Heroes of Might and Magic meets Magic the Gathering Duels of the Planeswalkers.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Minecraft new server Day 3: Score

So since we decided to start a new server world in Minecraft our adventures have been rather...interesting.

The first day in I got lost and died and separated from my cohort. After I got my bearings I stumbled upon a small village that allowed me to get a head start and get some free housing. I combined both the houses I found via an extension hallway and commenced digging under my home to see what was below me.

My girlfriend and I managed to find each other later that night because I built tall towers of stone with torches on the top. Eventually she found one and we triangulated our positions and met in the middle. Now a nice trail of torches leads us to each others houses.

My significant other in the meantime stumbled upon a pyramid in the desert complete with chests and a few nice mosaic tiles. While she was working on that I was fortifying and cleaning up the area around me and I was prepping to go on a mineral run.

Day 3 rolled around and we spent ANOTHER 3 hours on our server in our separate lodgings exploring and killing skeleton archers and creepers.

Setting a trail of torches on the ground I set out in a random direction and continued until I saw something that caught my eye. It was an innocent enough little passage leading down so I stopped and decided this is where I would descend. While I was doing this I saw a message come up that QTNSXY had been blown up by a creeper and she had lost a good amount of ore. Somehow one had gotten inside her house. I was way too far away to help so she would spend the night recovering materials.

I dug deep and eventually constructed a small safehouse underground and plopped down a furnace and crafting table as well as a chest. At this point I heard lava and managed to dig even deeper finding multiple pools and a huge harvesting area of RedStone ore.

If a player left or right clicks on, or an entity moves or falls on redstone ore, the block will emit level 9 light until it receives the next block tick (47 seconds on average).
Redstone ore veins form at the bottom 16 layers of the map. Below layer 14, it can be found in 1.025% of stone. There are an average of 25 redstone ores per chunk.

I dug up all I could and then doused much of the lava with a nearby waterfall by digging a trench over to extinguish it. Then I saw it. A diamond vein. My entire time in Minecraft I had owned maybe 7 diamonds at best (I frequently start over).

After digging these up I continued to explore and then it happened. A creeper had approached behind me and "set me up the bomb".


My two iron armor pieces were no match for the catastrophic blast he laid on me and my world went up in a violent explosion. With that were my diamonds, lapis lazuli, iron ore and mushrooms. This made me angry because usually I take precautions to place things in chests before moving on and this is why.

I also had not made a bed in my new place so I had not rebound myself near my conquest. So back to the desert I was thrown. Then I realized it was night, I had no wood and had not stashed any tools. I had to run all the way back naked with carrots and a bone for a weapon until I found a nearby tree and could recover.

Luckily I had marked my trail well and I found my digging site and saferoom. Then I went deeper and turned the corner and miraculously there it was: all my belongings floating just above the ground waiting to be relooted.

After taking out numerous zombies and skeleton archers I managed to actually find ANOTHER diamond mine and call it a night. It was a good haul overhaul: I finished with 84 redstone ore, 57 lapis lazuli, 14 diamonds and over 90 iron ore. This was a good haul and would go far toward establishing our stockpile.

My next goal is to find a dungeon for free iron rail tracks and then construct a minecart rail system to get around the map better.

Onward to the next 3 hours!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Sims 3 and Chester McBrock

Good sales on Sims 3 expansions this past weekend so I grabbed Showtime, Pets and World Adventurers. 

On to the Sims 3. For right now Chester McBrock is a wanna be politician.

What am I talking about? A Sim has a lifelong goal in Sims 3, a list of the ultimate pinnacle of life that they want to strive for. Based on traits you pick you can manipulate this decision. 

Originally my plan had been to create a Sim that had the aspiration to become a published author. Before that my idea was to have a professional athlete so I could see how in depth the engine got with him becoming a star and having a lot of money and getting into trouble. I decided that I did not want to go that route and would pursue it later and made my first Sim a loner that wrote well and disliked large crowds and kids.

I started with a purchased furnished house and realized soon that that took way too much money out of my pocket and I should have gone with no furnishings and Simply added to the home as I went along. The furnishings I started out with were a little lame and for the most part unnecessary. For example, in my main room I had a book case, a single seat chair, a two seat sofa, a kitchen table and two chairs. No TV, no computer and no means to write anything and actually contact the outside world. If I was going to be a shut in recluse I needed more access to the world outside digitally. My bedroom had two end tables and two lamps, way more than a single Sim needed. I started to sell off many objects to afford a computer and television and make room for a coffee table, where I would Simply eat while watching TV.

This was all well and good except that I started to fall victim to the wrong traits I had picked. About half way in it dawned on me that I could in fact take a career as a politician then I started wondering if I could actually become mayor of the town my Sim lived in. Well my traits were set up all wrong since he had been designed as an antisocial grumpy **** it would not work for him to be a super smiley schmoozer like I would need to be if I were in politics.

In fact, my Sim hated kids so much that he actually would yell at the paper boy as part of a daily tirade. This in turn would cause the would be print hurler to run screaming away from my yard in terror but still give me a good chuckle on the inside. My Sim also had the nasty habit of going off on one particular Sim at the library that always let her screaming brat run around unattended. Needless to say on the friendship scale of things they did not get along.

With my sails down my idea boat started to run adrift and soon I found myself not focused on one career path and near broke. In the span of one week my stove caught fire and burned down during a waffle making fiasco, and then I was robbed of my shower one night by a thief that broke into my house. I called the police but in typical fashion they showed up late and before I knew it I was down a stove and shower. My hygiene score was plummeting so I had to replace the shower and I needed to eat so instead of resorting to quick meals from the fridge I got a new stove.

I honestly tried to become a writer I promise. I had increased my writing skill to 4 by hitting the library and using  my computer to practice, and was at the point that new options opened up when I selected my PC. I could now start a romance novel or a action book, but I just didnt want to do it anymore. I landed a job at the capitol building as a podium scrubber and my career in politics had begun.

My Sim was not setup to be a politician though, he would have to be recreated and turned into a people pleasing mingler. So off I will go this week to set that up and hopefully get him on the right track. Right now his life is a mess. He has the physical prowess to be an athlete but has been raising his writing skill and works in politics. He is almost broke and cannot focus. Back to the drawing board for poor old Chester Brock 1.0 I am afraid. I will follow up with more later this week.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The War Z open player killing debate continues amidst bans

The controversy about what you are really getting in the War Z as opposed to what the are advertising continues. At this point I would encourage NO ONE to pre order this game based on the advertising and how they are marketing it. What you think you get is in reality a farce once in game.

Once all the team and player killers are in the game it will lose its audience fast. That being the zombie lore fans that fall for the bait and switch of this horrible so called zombie survival mmo. The game claims to be something it is not. I thought I was getting teamwork, maybe some roaming AI controlled bandits, some hunkering down in buildings, building campfires, looting etc etc. Instead we get...what amounts to a PVP game.

What happens is you log in, hit a server browser, pick a non full 40 man server. You then set about trying to play the game you think you are getting based on their advertising and instead it turns out to be an all out fragfest of players just killing one another.

Here is the advice of players that love that kind of thing:

"Dont join populated servers until you get geared up?" 

Yeah ok. Uninstall. There are entire threads of how the game is going to hell in a hand basket.

Look, I understand that there will be killing if the Zombie thing goes down in the real world yadda yadda...but what do you think happens to a VIDEO game when you allow this kind of rampant killing in a game that sells itself as a zombie "mmo"? You guessed it. This game test was the most depressing beta invite I have ever been a part of and let me tell you I have been in a LOT of them. To top it off they now want to CHARGE YOU MONEY to form "clans" or "guilds" as we older MMO players know them.

"Now, I slept on this as well, and I'm still in shock that you are charging a core component of your game, money, and basically penalizing them for the size of their clans. I believe Sergey said $1.00 would be 142 GC, someone posted for 500 slots, since it's one per character would be $350.00 US for a 100 member clan. That would mean mine would be $700.00 for 200 members. Sergey, I ask you this straight out, how can you see this as justified. How can you justify this in any manner at all, to the large clans, small clans as well, that are helping you with this game, and help continue to grow WarZ. If I get no other answer, please, pm me, email me, or something on this issue. I would really, like a Dev to answer this. If other factors are here, let us know, i.e can use in game money, etc. for slots, people want answers, why avoid issues all the time by not releasing a statement. Clans are the foundation of any game."
"even low pop servers are no go hackers are around and yet its a sitting ducks game, i just wish we could play the game properly without the fragfesting."

The thread continues on and on. The forums are full of it. Then we have this scathing post about the devs and how the game is going to make you pay to form clans and the like:

"PvP is honestly turning the game into a big joke and being quite hated by many people im about to quit because the game is crap and will be crap  This isnt even a game you cant even call this a zombie game either its getting ridiculous i mean seriously 70 in a 100% open Colorado map is pushing it and making the zombie apoc look like a joke. Dont bother until they make it what it should prospectively be which is players vs the environment. seriously is this a zombie game or just another CoD fagfest. because to me this is a CoD fagefest, i paid to play a zombie game not this shit."

Then we have this little gem of a post from a moderator that was banned for speaking his mind:

"Their anti-hack is actually functional but here's the kicker..wanna know WHY their bans are TEMPORARY the first time around? 0.8% hacking? Try an EXTREMELY LARGE PORTION of the player base is hacking. If they banned everyone they'd have a mass refund issue on their hands, and no one to play their piss poor of an excuse game."

I understand its "ALPHA". Quit using that argument. Do you honestly think drastic changes will be made to this game at this point with the engine in place? AND they have the nerve to ask us to prepay and pay full price for this game to find this out (unless you snag a beta key).

"since about 3 weeks ago I figured out that their development was in such a rudimentary stage that they had to develop pretty much every non-pvp (pvp is going straight from war inc) feature AFTER alpha was opened. When I bought the game I thought they have coded everything and will gradually put them in for testing, but it appears that they don't have those content at all."

Even Sergei admitted that "the game is pretty much out there" now, which means it's not about "alpha access by devoted fans" any more, but equivalent to a public release. They indeed have been lying all along.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Facebook links for Hudson's Hideout

We have a Gaming Geeks! Facebook group and while I am not a fan of Facebook pages or groups (due to the crappy functionality I would prefer a message board anyday of the week) we do have about 50+ members in that group that post and talk about games. They can discuss any type of game of course and I sometimes like to toss out indie games and other rare ones to break up the monotony of the posts regarding a flavor of the month title like Guild Wars 2 or Call of Duty. While I would prefer to have this group as a circle on Google + you just cannot win them all. You can find the gaming geeks website here:

Another Facebook page was announced by a favorite wargame publisher of mine and that is the SDC Center Facebook page. This is the Scenario Design Center that features wargaming scenarios for HPS Sims and John Tiller Software wargames. You can check them out here:  (Facebook)  (Main Site)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Champions Online: dailies done right

Dailies do not seem like dailies if they are done in rapid succession, in a group and finished withing 10-20 minutes each.

Champions Online lets you get a lot of Questionite Ore (the new in game currency for tradeskills and purchasing certain things) by running daily ALERTS with a random group of people.

Talk to Lt. Patil in the middle of the city and he will give you your options to do. You can get Grab missions, Nemesis missions, Smash missions, and BURST missions.

Run three of each type and you get your daily done. On the ride side of the screen by the mini map the missions available to Q for are listed. You may not have 3 grabs for example right off the bat but when you finish one mission it is replaced with a random type of another. It is a rather ingenious system and rewards a ton of XP as well. Smash alerts are the best for XP as they provide an hour long XP boost as well but you better hope your group brings its "A" game because it is a DPS race to take the villain down before time expires.

Lets face it though nothing beats joining a Q and then smashing a villains face in less than 5 minutes of waiting time.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Pausing Rift for a bit, maybe Vanguard?

The holiday season is upon us and with that we all know will come STEAM's holiday sale as well as a pile of new games for me to focus on. Besides popping into Minecraft still as well as Skyrim I want to get back into computer wargaming and maybe pick up Dominions 3.

As you can tell from this blog I have merged all my old posts from Blunt Force Gamer (the 2010 and early 2011 posts) but no pictures came with them. That gives this blog content back to 2007.

So aside from getting into Star Trek Online again and Champions Online due to my comic book addiction I may reinstall Vanguard to see what its like in a Free To Play world.

I have level capped in RIFT and now the expansion is out forcing me to go to level 60. However right now I am not feeling it. There are too many games to play. I don't feel like the 10 level grind. I don't know what it is about Rift but sometimes it just becomes so bland I want to try other games. I want to heal in Vanguard and give it a solid chance.

When Vanguard launched in 2007 it was an epic failure of huge proportions. I played it maybe one week before I could take no more.

One thing I hate about low population MMO's is the lack of grouping. I am not one that likes to "solo" in an MMO and act like its some single player game. That is the stupidest excuse for lazy in an MMO I always hear. Players that suck and can't figure out their class or how a game works like to solo. Those that don't suck group, learn, level and later raid. The key is watching a solo'er group and seeing how bad they are. There are some that are anti elitist in a lot of MMO's and may get mad at the last few sentences. I am by far not an elitist but I also hate entitled casuals that solo to level cap and then whine when they can't hack it in raids and see all the content. I hit 50 in Rift and was fully purpled up and had many raid achievements within 3 weeks and was also in a great guild. While I may pop in from time to time I want to do that again in something that has a little more UMPH. I do NOT want to return to World of Warcraft just because of the player base.

Vanguard may be one of the WORST games to do that in but who knows until you try. The end game content in Guild Wars 2 is a joke so that is pointless. I need something a little more difficult and sometimes I have considered going back to EQ1.

The only thing that scares me is I hear the F2P launch of Vanguard was a total mess and really did nothing to promote more people to stay and try the game out.

As a quote on the Vanguard forums points out: (spelling errors left in)

Im not sure what you thought would happen. The free to play login matrix is horrible,even for a soe game. Its far worse than either eq1 or eq2, two games without the massive bugs,poor performance,low population, or tainted history. They pushed forward with the ftp launch not only having fixed virtually no bugs but actually introducing tons more and with performance the worse its been in years. If they can manage to fill one server,they will have done the near impossible. 
The vast majority who tried vg prior to ftp didnt think it was worth the price of a sub, tacking on a horrible ftp matrix while increasing bugs and decreasing performance isnt a winning formula.
FTP relaunch was pretty well botched with all the lag, bad low level class changes, and bad restrictions. 
So glad Moorgard is getting things changed! :) maybe the game will get yet another shot. still needs alot of work on the lag though

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Final Fantasy 14: an MMO so bad they had to blow it up

Yes, that is right. They actually BLEW UP Final Fantasy's lame world and are re-releasing this dung heap of an MMO later this year.

They are calling it a "Realm Reborn" but what it actually is is a kick in the nuts for all the suckers that spent the 40-50 bucks on this ridiculously stupid MMO.
If this version goes south then you can wave goodbye to any and all credibility Final Fantasy XI might have bought them, and their future in the North American MMO market probably goes out the window as well.
I couldn't have said it better myself. Hey look a dragon that destroys everything! Where have we seen that before?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Champions Online now a real game and no longer crap

When it launched back in 2009? Champions Online was a bit of a let down. With the failure of many Cryptic titles and their buy out by Chinese MMO pay to win conglomerate Perfect World I figured that the game was about to enter the trash bin of MMO history.

I decided to check it out recently and was quite surprised to discover that not only had the game been totally overhauled it was actually BETTER than the fail launch it had suffered.

The latest update adds "vehicles" although you do not actually get IN them. Many transform you but they have added new PVE Q's that let you take on vehicle missions with up to 10 people.

There has been more as well. Of course with the closing of City of Heroes and the console garbage that is DC Universe Online this game has probably had a boost in overall play population. The server is crowded also (it uses 1 instanced server but breaks them into areas you can port to much like GW2 servers).

It is a pretty deep game now with a revamped starting system, instant Q's, talent trees, overhauled Character UI,  vehicles and more. The new alert system is pretty neat also (well new for me at least). All players go to the city after the tutorial so no more picking one of the two start zones we all got sick of. Stats are clearly highlighted and gear has gotten a major fix.

Below are some key updates:

Systems Update - We've updated the way most Statistics, Roles, and Super Stats work to improve the way statistics work together and provide for better game balance in the future. Additionally, we've re-itemized the entire game, improving the rewards available from levels 1-40, providing not only increased power, but also more meaningful rewards from both world drops and quests. 
Specializations - These new specializations allow for even greater customization for your Champions Online character - players can become even stronger than before! Unlocked at level 10, Specializations give you all you need to make an even more unique hero 
Modifications & Fusion - Our new Modifications and Fusion Systems further enhance the customizability of Champions Online. Through this new system, players will be able to modify their gear, customizing it with new modifications to provide more of the statistics they want, as well as fuse modifications together to create even more powerful mods.
Roles - We’ve renamed the roles to more accurately describe what they are intended for, as several of the previous names were similar enough in meaning that it was difficult for new players to tell which role was for tanking, for example – Sentinel, Protector, or Guardian?
The real major change for Roles, though, is that they will now affect what your Super Stats do for you. Previously, even if you were in a Support or Tanking Role, Super Stats always provided you with more damage. While more damage is nice, it isn’t really what you want out of those roles. Now, being in a DPS role will provide you with the maximum damage bonus, while Tank and Support Roles provide bonuses targeted at those Roles. The Hybrid Role provides a mix of benefits, aimed at allowing players to fulfill more than one Role, just not quite as well as someone that picks a specific Role.
In addition to the way that Roles interact with Super Stats, we made some additional tweaks to the Roles. Several of the penalties have been removed, and several of the benefits have been increased. Here are some highlights: (of course, these are all still being tweaked, so they may change) 

The War Z is a terrible game and NOT an MMO

Tried out the War Z  beta tonight WHAT A MESS of a game and a waste of time. 

This game is nothing but CounterStrike with Zombie NPC's running around. And yes I said NPC's because at no point in the game are Zombies even a threat more than some other player that just shoots you because its "funny". AVOID this title at all costs. At this point DEAD ISLAND is more of the experience the public is looking for.

Think WW2 Online meets player killers. Wander around for 20 minutes and get shot, with a 58 minute revive time. Gee thats fun. No one even focuses on Zombies or what is going on, they just hide behind trees and kill you when you wander around. If I wanted that I would play Counterstrike,

Its not an "MMO" either. Its a shooter on a survival server that is only capable of holding 40 people at a time with an in game server browser. It's not persistent and its full of team killers wandering around looting you for bags of potato chips. 

I started off having fun until I realized that other people can shoot you dead. I explored, went to a town and then while running from zombies was shot dead by another player. What the fuck? So when I died that character was locked out for 1 hour. And I had to make a new one. Rinse repeat with all 5 of your character slots and guess what? Your done for the night. 

What a waste of a concept. It is really too bad because the engine and the in game theories looked fun. However I refuse to play a game where people grief others in lieu of the setting or the real aspect of the title. Especially one that sells itself as something else when in fact it is a simple shooter little focus on the overlying theme.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I got some free to play coins for SWTOR

In a desperate attempt to woo me back to the joke that is Star Wars the Old Republic MMO (free to play version) I got spammed that I have gotten a bunch of stupid "tokens" for spending real money and getting burned on the game months ago. Wow awesome! Maybe I can buy another hotbar or perhaps a mini map to place on my screen. What a bargain!

The most hilarious thing? I have to subscribe to take advantage of them. Ok....?

You have earned Complimentary Cartel Coins for your prior paid subscription months! Cartel Coins are a new virtual currency coming with the launch of the Free-to-Play option this November.
Visit the Cartel Coins Ledger page to see how many Complimentary Cartel Coins you have already earned! This new web page is located in the "My Account" section of the website.
Get ready to visit the Cartel Market loaded with coins to spend this November - and turn these golden coins into valuable items such as pets, vehicles, XP boosts, and more! Remember, you must return as a Subscriber to take advantage of this golden opportunity!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Diablo 3 with Monster Power selection

I returned to Diablo 3 last night to check out patch 1.0.5 and the new Monster Power Selection system that was greatly missing when the game launched. Basically this recreates the ability you had in Diablo 2 to raise the power of the creatures higher than normal so that you get more XP per kill and thusly level faster.

I entered the game striving to kill Azmodan and only level 29 and decided to be timid and use Monster Power 2. The XP gain was greater and after I killed Azmodan I had hit level 31 and was well on my way toward the final act. My Barbarian uses a build where REND gives him health back as he fights. So far it is quite interesting but many times I was close to death. One day I will get the nerve to make a HARDCORE character but what class I am not sure.

I racked up 5 more achievements as well and now I want to play more than I used to. I felt the game on Normal was a tad too easy but now I want to jack the Monster Power up to about 5 or so with my wizard and see how fast I can level him.

It does bring some fun back into a game I was seriously disappointed in. Despite how good some claim Torchlight 2 to be I just don't have the gusto to play it at the moment. With RIFT taking a lot of time Diablo 3 is one thing I want to finish on Normal then move on. I am really not in the mood to grind gear in that game.

"Monster Power gives Diablo III players the option to increase the health and damage of monsters according to different "power levels" -- and in return, they'll receive scaling bonuses to their adventure stats (including experience, Magic Find, and Gold Find) as well as more drops.
The option to adjust Monster Power will be available to all players starting at level 1 through the Quest Selection window, and can be adjusted separately for Normal, Nightmare, Hell, and Inferno difficulties." 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Minecraft 1.4.2 Update

The hits keep coming for Mojang in this patch. I have only found carrots so far but I started a whole new world (called Prometheus) to see all the spoooky Halloween changes. Listed below is the new patch for the game that never quits giving:

Minecraft 1.4.2

The Pretty Scary Update!
+ Added a beacon
+ Added flower pots
+ Added item frames
+ Added anvils
+ Added cobblestone walls
+ Added pumpkin pies
+ Added carrots and potatoes
+ Carrots can be put on a stick to control pigs while riding
+ Added a boss mob
+ Added a new skeleton type
+ Added witches
+ Added bats
+ Added mob heads that can be placed
+ Zombies now infect villagers, but can also be cured
+ Added wooden button
+ Items can be cloned with the “pick block” action in Creative Mode
+ Items can be quickly moved to the hotbar by pressing 1 through 9 while hovering an item
+ Added /difficulty, /spawnpoint, /weather, /gamerule and /clear commands
+ Added “target selectors” for commands
+ Added option to hide capes
+ Added option to toggle vertical synch
+ Added customization to superflat worlds
+ Minor additions to the world generator
+ New potion recipes
+ Leather armor can be dyed
* Maps now start more zoomed in, and can be extended
* Redstone repeaters can now be set into a “locked” position
* New sound effects
* Portals to the Nether can now transport items and mobs
* Adventure mode now allows placing and removing blocks, but only when using the correct tools
* Changed method of placing sideways wood logs
* Improved server list
* Improved debug (F3) options
* Spawn protection is now automatically disabled if there are no defined admins
- Removed Herobrine

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

RIFT: server consolidations, raiding and more

Not in a bad way, in a good way. Trion made our current home a new trial server and offered everyone a chance to move to a new server this week. A trial server is reserved for new players and people taking advantage of the free trial. This is in preparation for the upcoming Storm Legion expansion rush when a flood of new people may be coming back to Rift.

We picked up our guild and did a transfer to Threesprings which is a brand new server Trion just opened. Combine this with Defiant and Guardians now loving each other as well as cross server LFG Q's and you have the makings of a good robust community.

Now that I have reached 50 I have attended a couple of raids in Hammerknell and run all sorts of Expert Dungeons (aka Heroics as you WoW pleebs might know them). I have since switched from a two dagger assassination spec to a Saboteur spec and am doing quite a bit of damage. I use the dagger stealth spec when questing for the most part but I also want to look into Rogue tanking.

I also took advantage of the new wardrobe/costume slots to not look like a peasant. I used a combo of plate, chain and cloth to make myself look more evil and suitable to the level 50 crowd:

The server announcement was as follows:

Hail Ascended, 
The servers of Storm Legion have arrived early! Since the beginning of the year we’ve been making constant advancements in our server technology as we worked to bring all of the shards closer together. Starting with European servers in July, we began our plans to have everyone in each region play on a single wargroup. Now we’re able to start the next leap forward – further focusing on removing the barriers between shards.  
The advancements we’ve made this year have effectively doubled the capacity of the individual servers allowing more of you to play together than ever before while reducing the total number of shards we need to support RIFT’s active population. 
What this means for you – we can now support all of our North American players on a single wargroup, further reducing queue times for dungeons and PvP while bringing the community even closer together.
This change is currently scheduled to occur this Wednesday, October 24. Here’s what the new mega-wargroup for North America will look like:
Faeblight (RP)
Laethys (Oceanic)
Seastone (PvP)
Briarcliff, Byriel, Deepstrike, Gnarlwood, Greenscale, Keenblade, Millrush, and Silkweb will be converted to trial-only shards – everyone currently on these shards will be able to take advantage of the Free Character Transfers to find yourself a new home or meet up with guild mates.  
With this massive increase in server capacity it will be easier than ever to enjoy RIFT to the fullest. We’ll be ready for anything as you and your friends storm our shores with the release of our first expansion – we can’t wait!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

RIFT's incredibly huge 1.11 patch notes

The calm before the Storm Legion so to speak. A major huge update is going live right now and the notes are so GINORMOUS that they had to split them up as separate posts in the forums.

So here we go:

General Notes:

All other 1.11 patch notes:

One interesting tidbit about Planar Attunement Points now:

* Planar Attunement is now shared between all characters on your account! Planar Attunement experience earned is applied to all of your characters.

* You'll need to log in to each existing character to add their PA experience to your account-wide total. There's no advantage in logging in characters in a certain order or leaving some characters to be logged in later.

* The account-wide Planar Attunement change is going hand-in-hand with a change to how Planar Attunement experience applies to PA levels. The combined total of PA from your characters is converted before adding to the account-wide amount.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Secret Worlds odd "no level" scheme may hurt the game

This from another blog I shall not mention:

"I was one of the players that gave it a 9/10 on Metacritic. It is a very good MMO. It is awfully niche though and extremely carebear unfriendly. It has an endgame grind that locks out most casual players and reduces the content available behind dungeon unlocks and gear grinds. The 500+ skills are mostly obtuse and do not always work as expected. Many of our guild members could not develop viable skill builds and the preset builds are mostly useless. Last but not least the community was reduced to mostly a bunch of elitists with QL 10.2 gear standing in Agartha and spamming for groups yet refusing to take less experienced players. Yelling “LFM No Idiots” won’t endear you to other players. The game and community became its own worst enemy"

"Pretty soon the fun runs out and players are slapped with grinds. When you ship with only a handful of playable zones (and, really, only three or four thematically different zones when you consider it), when you design the game to be a constant switching of skills and gears and then the community has to step in to mod it because your gear and skills manager has serious issues for weeks and weeks, when your chat is broken for weeks and weeks, when your cash shop is arguably the most expensive… and on top of all this you have the temerity to charge an AAA-like sub for what’s arguably F2P-territory content, well… no wonder people are being “divisive”"

I gave up on The Secret World a while back. I saw where it was going and bailed early on. Much the same way sadly I will bail on Guild Wars 2. Breaking from the norm is not always the best thing to do. If The Secret World had featured many of the same features and components of a decent modern MMO but kept the same mystique and setting it may have been a hit.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

This is some scary stuff: Free to play lovers...this is your future

Hat tip to Syncaine at Hardcore Casual. Just watch the Pay to Win is Acceptable section. Tell me that some of these methods are not being moved into Western MMO's. I see it in Guild Wars 2 everyday. Also click the events section and notice how they keep us distracted despite no end game content being installed yet.

All of you people clamoring for Free to Play games...this is your future...enjoy.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fixing SWTOR

^^ This guy is looking for advice about his Star Wars the Old Republic raiding issues.

Here is a simple solution:

1) Identify that you are STILL playing SWTOR
2) Quit playing least until it is free to play. Even then QUIT playing SWTOR.

Don't say I never helped anyone.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Cracks in the armor of Guild Wars 2

During my time with Guild Wars 2 I have noticed some cracks in the armor of what otherwise is a good game...but still these issues keep it from being GREAT.

These cracks are, for a dungeon running 5 man aficionado such as myself, enough to make me take a step back and wonder what, if anything, the game has for me at level cap.

Sure, level capping is not hard. I could tradeskill my way to 80 if I wanted or even use XP potion boosters. It is what is at the end game that had me worried all along.

Guild Wars 2 is by nature not a "raiders" game. It is a PVP game and I knew that going in. I knew that it would possibly turn me off the end game no matter how solid the leveling experience may be. However even the leveling experience is starting to grow on me a bit.

While I do commend the game on its features that old evil MMO tyrant World of Warcraft has reared its head again and still proven that it has the best end game content. I am a dungeon runner by heart. My experience in the first Guild Wars 2 dungeon was so horrendous that I may never go back. It was, as Keen and Graev have stated here...a total clusterfuck.

I miss the ‘holy trinity’ of class archetypes in dungeons.  I don’t miss them in big awesome events like the dragons, when questing/eventing, or in PvP, but I hate the lack of structure in the dungeons.  To some of you that’s heresy, but I find dungeons entirely too spammy and the whole experience feels like everyone is playing a DPS class and just zerging the fight until it’s done.

To me that is not a dungeon. That is a tacked on experience that is neither balanced nor fun. You can read their summary of the dungeons I do not need to go into here. Needless to say what is the point of action/evade combat if you are going to design a dungeon that takes place in narrow hallways, rooms with furniture that block rolls, and small confined spaces teeming with terrible dungeon AI.

If a game does not have some decent core things to precipate cooperation and dungeon running I am usually out within 4-6 weeks. Sadly I find that happening with Guild Wars 2.

The devs have stated that there will be no LFG Finder. Why not? This is a common component that every MMO should, in this day and age come with. What makes the great older games fun? I will tell you. The ability to spawn your own content. The ability to work as a team to run dungeons. Whether it be LOTRO's skirmishes, RIFT's two man content runs, or even World of Warcrafts new 3 man scenarios you need to have something there. I am sorry but logging in night to night to go from heart to heart on a map is just not doing it for me right now. Not when other games have so much more depth and other things to do. Housing, small group content, larger dungeons, organized well structured 5 mans where people know their roles...these are things I look for.

As time goes on I find myself drifting from just logging in night after night to run around and fill heart quests on a map to wanting something more. I also do not like total solo play. Never have, never will.

The dungeon experience in Guild Wars 2 was so bad, so unpolished and so bland that I doubt I will try another one for a long period of time. I was not the only one either. Most members of our party were really disappointed at the thing and toward the end it got downright funny. On the flip side I had more fun in RIFT for the short time I went back Saturday then trying that GW2 dungeon dreck. This needs to be looked at by the Arena Net crew or many many players will simply go back to you know where. There needs to be that hook and this game just does not have at from what I can tell.

I am still not convinced that there is an MMO that can be created without using the Holy Trinity.

Other sources to take a look at:

The Dungeons are Bad:

Reward system fubar'd