Sunday, May 26, 2013

Star Trek Online: choices in starships

Picking a new ship for myself at level 21 last night was an ordeal in #StarTrekOnline. 

I know I wanted either to strike fast and have good mobility or (my choice of playstyle) take a lot of damage but unleash massive firepower. 

My cruiser choice screwed me a little because it was limited in what my science officer could do. I want to get Tractor Beam into play but the station on the refit cruiser only allowed the most basic science officer abilities. So I waited...and waited...and waited 10 levels.

This time I was little more careful. I wanted durability so I picked the USS Excelsior from Star Trek VI the Undiscovered Country. I didn't like the console slots the free ship was offering me so I traded up with some Zen.

I made sure it had the slot I needed to get my science officer (Obeni..a Vulcan) to use tractor beam.

What a glorious choice. I now enter battle with:

Fire on my Mark,

emergency power to weapons,
attack pattern alpha III,
fire at will beam

all loaded up

IF the enemy survives that I hit them with a nice surprise of jam targeting sensors followed by a tractor beam which keeps them from getting that lowered shield out of my firing arc.

Quite effective.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Star Trek Online Legacy of Romulus

Legacy of Romulus is live finally and what a night it was trying to get in.

The login Q's were overwhelming so I had to give up hope of even trying to play last night. At one point the Q was up to 17,000 players. 

I was able to get in this morning however and the game is really different from a Romulan standpoint. The new tutorial features pop ups, speech and cut scenes that are really well done. I cannot say if it is shorter than the Federation tutorial yet but from what I have seen it is much more streamlined.

You can either lose or gain a STO player in the first 10 minutes. If they try to play the game like World of Warcraft you will lose them. If they take the time to do the tutorial, read over the menus and the gear as well as read and learn on fansites it will eventually click for them

Here are some shots from what I was able to do. Not sure if my Romulan will be Fed or "evil forces" when he hits the level to decide. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Next up: Federation Commander

I used to play Star Fleet battles when I was younger. Back when my brain cells were still replicating and I was much wiser.

Now that I am older I am dumber and it takes me longer to learn things. Star Fleet Battles is way out of my realm of learning at this point. Just as Advanced Squad Leader was it would be fun for the basic stuff but learning anything that is realistic is just not possible. I just do not have it in me anymore to read giant tomes of gameplay literature like that anymore.

So Federation Commander is the only viable option.

This is a game by the same company but stripped down and more streamlined. You still get all the goodness but not all the annoyance...and time.

You can start with one of two starter sets: Romulan Border or Klingon Border. Being a fan of Romulans and their Roman ways I will of course be playing the better half of Vulcan gene oriented people.

You can find out about Federation Commander here:

There is a free print to play demo here:

And tons of resources here:

The game looks great. As a former Battletech and Star Fleet Battles player this is right up my alley. I will be playing with Crabby Old Gamer but hope to find others. That search will probably be futile as most are in the Chicago Burbs area but who knows?

RIFT key giveaway results

Ok so I have the following names entered from this post:

Walter White

Michael Hoover

Max Hazard

Bo Esbye



Now it is no mystery that since RIFT went free to play tons of people have come out of the woodwork clamoring for these keys. Look I get it folks. You want the key to activate things that people who have been loyal to RIFT for 2 years or so already have when it goes free to play. I see the angle. But where were all these people just one month ago? RIFT is a good game. In fact it is one of the most feature filled MMO's we have right now. It was well worth the support. As a former raider in that game and one who can no longer afford the 14.99 a month it made me happy to see it go Free to Play. I am not sure how the other players feel in fact the forums are rife with anger and hostility but in order for some games to survive you need to go the Free to Play route.

I am of firm belief that Defiance has been for the most part a flop for Trion. You can quote a million accounts created etc etc but all purposes the game has already faded from playlists just a month or two after launch. Honestly it is not that good. I would have loved to have seen those resources go toward more RIFT content or something along that nature rather than Defiance. In the end maybe they stretched themselves into a bad genre who knows. I am not sure how Planetside 2 is doing so I cannot compare the titles.

Ok I have to cut this contest short originally it was to go until June 23rd but with TRIONS announcement I have to get this done soon.

I will create a random number between 1-6 and then award the key to that person. If that person does not answer within two days I will roll again and remove them. If no one claims it it is going on Twitter.


Here we go using this random number generator:

I did 6 clicks for 6 entries and our winner is



Leave a reply here with an email address I can send it to. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Easy MMO's produce clueless players at end game

Who hasn't died in Neverwinter yet? I came close the other day but I have founders pack stuff and a zillion potions. I did die from wandering into a spawn of about 2 Orc camps when they popped onscreen but that's all so far. They need achievements for this!

On a totally separate note: I healed a PUG dungeon in SWTOR with a year old character that had no skill points assigned and I used two buttons: force bubble and some big heal. I don't even know the name. I just wanted to test the LFG Q and next thing I know I decided to stick it out.

Also the players stealthed around many of the mobs to get to the end.

First off:

Who designs a dungeon like that ?


What is the point of running a dungeon if you aren't going to actually get any XP or really RUN the dungeon?

I'm thinking I need to level cap before these games get hard but honestly does that teach people how to play these games as a team? Or do people not care about that aspect anymore?

I'm sure there are some things that can be hard like maybe if you take on a group quest solo or something. Maybe. Or do the designers of games that are getting older now just want you to zoom to end game so most are horribly over geared for the low level stuff?

Certainly seems to be the case in World of Warcraft at least.

I've gotten to the end of some of these games and seen players with just no clue about what they are doing in groups. I have always been an advocate against solo'ing to level cap. I always will be. Now that this is accepted practice some of these games are just intolerable as are their player populations.

And yes I know I can always find a hard core raiding guild etc etc but what about the journey to the end and learning as I get there. Why must every MMO be reduced to easy leveling and then just reroll or find some hard core guild?

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Heroclix: "The Start of a Sinister Plan" comic book

Yesterday marked a huge Heroclix day. We fought three battles total and one of them involved a 400 point Sentinel vs. the new Iron Man 3 Iron Patriot and MK 7 armor Iron Man. Though the Sentinel was easily defeated it led me to have a brainstorm later on about how to tie in all the fights we had. As we later fought a bank heist that involved Charles Xavier, Marvel Girl and Batroc the Leaper it would be interesting to tie all this in. Of course I had to embellish some but below is the result. 

Our third battle involved villains vs. villains so this had to be explained as well. So here it is: a mini comic book explaining what went down. It is written from the point of a story board more than anything else so there are some directorial explanations about what I would have liked to have drawn included in the story (in RED).

I have inserted pictures so you can get an idea of who is involved. Also this is not proof read this is straight out of my brain at 4am in the morning so bear with me.


Somewhere over Central Park.

Iron Man flies up into the sky. Far Below is the Iron Patriot hovering of the prone body of a massive sentinel laying amongst felled trees.

*Iron Man zooms across the night sky. Inside his helmet Stark reads a heads up display as Sentinel information scrolls across his vision. On the lower right sits a comm picture of Rhodey Rhodes.*

“Want to explain to me what that was doing in the middle of New York at 3am Tony?”

“Im not sure myself Rhodey. I haven’t seen a Sentinel like that since M Day. That wasn’t related to Sentinel Squad One I know that. That was something different, a variation I had not seen.  Ill have to look into it more. How are things on your end”

“My servo is out and I think my backup systems are down. I need to go back Tony. It packed a wallop for sure. Whatever it was doing here needs to be checked out or this will look bad on us. “

Iron Man comes to a hover.

“Sir, incoming code 2 transmission from Mr. Pym”

“Patch through Jarvis”



“Yeah Tony we have reports of some disturbance at the First Federal Savings. Just to let you know Im reading some high brainwave activity on my end here. Mutants Tony.  I know what you reported earlier and I’m…”

“I know where you are going Hank.”

“So Tony just so you should know I heard reports the Mandarin may be involved. I can have Cap send a team in if you...”

“Mandarin? NO. Ill take this one”

“Alone? Tony I don’t think..”

“Stark out.”

Iron man makes a sharp left had 90 degree turn, kicks in the thrusters and zooms off toward the New York skyline

*CUT TO THE FIRST FEDERAL SAVINGS BANK DOWNTOWN NEW YORK. We zoom in on a unconscious Marvel Girl and Professor X slumped against a corner wall.*

Mandarin holds a small comm device in his hand and above his palm floats a holographic image of Baron Zemo.

“The bank is secure Zemo but I have to caution you that your little test has had adverse effects on what we were trying to accomplish here. Two Mutants assaulted us. One of them appears to be Charles Xavier. Rest assured they are subdued but this little incident tells me that others may be alerted to our presence here. We have secured the funds however. The two captives are merely a bonus”

The holographic images shimmers

“Excellent Herr Mandarin. All goes as planned here at the facility as well.”

Mandarin looks over his shoulder to make sure the mutants are well guarded. An extremist mercenary stands over Marvel Girl, gun pointed right at her. In the background Batroc is flipping sacks of money through the air two at a time which land perfectly in a container placed in the center of the floor. He counts in French as he does it

“UN, DEUX, TROIS, QUATRE! Il ya plus d'où ça vient” (“There’s more where that came from!”) *Translated from French – Editor JMAN

“For now things are under control Zemo. But just as a warning to you your first test had some…side effects. Your little device had better work because we got compromised at the bank. You said it was foolproof.”

The image shimmers again. This time with more static

“Herr Mandarin you lose faith too easily. The overall goals of our project are intact. I do appreciate the work you and your men have put into securing the funds. I will handle the issues on my end."

Mandarin shuts the communicator off and walks over to unconscious mutants. Stroking his long mustache he looks over at the Extremist Mercenary.

“Bind them and put the inhibitor on the bald one. Load them into the truck. Activate the beacon distractor. It won’t be long before someone else shows up here especially with what happened in Central Park.”

“Yes sir” The extremist soldier grins.



A distraught Rhino kneels over the corpse of…himself on the ground. Standing near him are Baron Zemo and the Klaw. Scattered around the area are several bodies of AIM agents and their failed attack force. 

“Hey Zemo wanna explain this crap? I don’t really like turnin around and putting a beat down on myself! This aint normal!”

Zemo spins to face the Rhino. He looks down at the duplicate incapacitated form of a second Rhino.

“This was a most unfortunate side effect Mr. Sytsevich but rest assured the device will be working as planned shortly.” Zemo turns away, annoyed.

“As planned? You wanna tell me how I ended up facing myself? Your machine is a bust. This is no side effect!”

“Yes Mr. Sytsevich but you handled it quite well. However the presence of AIM and The Leader does concern me. Mister Hyde was in charge of the initial calibration. I suspect that we may have had…some sort of inside influence working against us this night. No matter. The issue is resolved and as you can see we have secured the facility. With the power source lying dormant beneath I will now be able to give undivided attention to my machine and have the resources to fix the testing issues.”

The appearance of the AIM strike force was a most unforeseen setback. He is now assured there was a mole in his operation and he glimpses at the still form of an unconscious Mister Hyde.

The Rhino stands and wipes blood off his face. He sighs heavily.

“Well I hope so. Because I’m in this ta make out nicely on my end like you promised. But this..” he jerks his thumb over his shoulder “…was NOT in the deal. And neither was tusslin with an AIM team. Whose side are they on exactly?”

Zemo chuckles. “No one’s Herr Rhino. Hence their attempt to hijack my technology. Please proceed in assisting Klaw with clearing the area of rubble and debris so that we may move the machine in.”

“If you say so.” The Rhino stomps off.

WALKING INTO THE FRAME FROM THE LEFT IS THE KLAW. He adjusts the sonic emitter on his arm. It still smokes from the recent battle.

“AIM? Seriously Zemo. Of all the people that had to show up here the very ones that imprisoned me into years of servitude. I cannot think you enough for the chance to blast them into oblivion. This has been a most fortuitous turn of events!”

Zemo looks up into the sky. He seems uncomfortable.

“Yes well I have a feeling that our work here may not go unnoticed now Klaw. We must proceed with haste at setting up the Temporal Distortion unit. Once that is done we can achieve our true goal.”


“Annnd pause. Rewind to 2:30. Pause. There.” Pym points to a small circle of light on a tiny island off the coast.

“Right there Steve. See it? Clearly a distortion reading. Not normal whatever it is. We picked up it shortly before Tony and Iron Patriot ran into that Sentinel in Central Park. Whatever it is registered a huge signal”

Captain America stands upright and crosses his arms. Next frame is the computer screen data flowing across the reflection of his eyes in a tight zoom in.

“Right right. I see it. Certainly not normal. I want to send a team in. But we need to make sure that Tony is handling the bank. How did he sound to you? Did you tell him?”

Pym walks over to a counter and grabs a glass of water. He takes a deep gulp.

“I did. He cut me off Steve. He may be thinking with his anger right now more than his brain. I think he went in alone.”

Rogers spins and looks out a window. Frame cut to his from a side view, his shield leaned up against a counter just behind him.

“A Sentinel we haven’t seen in ages, a bank robbery and some sort of temporal explosion off the coast of Madripoor. Sounds like a typical day here huh Henry? Ok…lets rally the troops then. See who we have here and lets split them up. Ill take lead on the Madripoor situation and have Jarvis ready a Quinjet. Looks like no rest for the wicked tonight. I just want to know what the wicked is doing.”

Cap grabs his shield off the floor and walks toward the elevator.

Pym turns and stares back at the screen.

“You and me both….” He mumbles.



Of course none of this would be complete without actual pics of the battles that took place so here we are:

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Iron Man 3 Heroclix starter and more

In preparation for Friday's Heroclix matchup with Crabby Old Gamer some things I ordered earlier in the week finally arrived.

One was the Iron Man 3 movie starter kit with that sweet 300 point Iron Man figure in it. I haven't had too much of a chance to look at the dials.

I also grabbed a 10th Anniversary Spider-Man now and a new Luke Cage (with card was not happy with the older model.)

I want to try to get these into action tomorrow. The Iron Man 3 starter of course came with an online code for Heroclix Online so I have that digitally now also.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Marvel Heroes NDA drops: commence spam attack

Now that the Marvel Heroes NDA has been dropped I can finally upload and link all the videos I have been saving up on my hard drive as well as tons of screenshots.

To say I like the game is an understatement. Marvel Heroes also marks the first time in my gaming history I have bought what amounts to a "lifetime subscription" but really is not. It is a founders pack that unlocks everything for the free to play title as well as tacks a permanent XP boost on my account and other goodies.

You see when you are a comic book nut like I am you simply cannot accept having to grind for hopeful hero unlocks in this game. You want them all (over 20+) on opening day PLUS all their alternate costumes.

Official website is here:

I don't really review games anymore. Lets just say if you like Super Heroes and comic books you need to play this game on day one. The sounds are spot on, the graphics and lighting quality are excellent and the animations are top notch. The game is still a little rough around the edges on its quest tracker and end game content (soon to be released in beta) and it could use some sort of scaling mechanism in its instances if a player goes back to farm but overall it has gotten better with each beta patch.

Launch is June 4th and it is free to play. Early access is somewhere around May 28th I think.

And now my spam:

Captain America low level vs Electro


Thor gameplay (around level 9-10)


 Spider-Man gameplay (around level 6 or so)


The voices and actors behind the game:

Screenshots of Captain America vs HYDRA various fights: