Friday, February 27, 2015

Another Perspective

Friday! One week has passed since The Order:1886 has got into our gaming hands. While I have enjoyed playing through the game. I was left wanting more. So to me if the game was bad I would want it to be over and done with. Now I have received a lot of feedback on my various posts regarding the game, but for this week's Reader Post I think I would leave it to Thorn to give you his take on the game.

I don't know what all the negativity is about with this game, I swear alot of people (Including some reviewers) haven't even played the game or have not played enough of it and have just jumped on the pre-release uncalled-for negativity train!    Especially the American reviewers on the so called 'reputable' gaming sites like Gamespot and IGN, if its not a COD or BF clone made in the US then they don't want to know about it especially if it isn't related to a Microsoft console.   It's like Sony are the enemy and anything that is created for the Playstation is evil.

My feel of the game?    Been playing it for 5 hours (The total amount of time that some idiot concluded it took him to the complete the whole game pre-release) and I am only up to chapter 2!    I don't get it, how do some people play these games?  Power-game through from point A to B like a robot without exploring or taking their time to admire the amazing detail the devs have put into this remarkable game?   Then they complain it is boring and too short and make sure everyone knows how they feel?      

So far I think the game is great,  the mechanics work nicely, the charachters are exceptionally well done and thaught out, the graphics as others have stated are probably the best released on any console to date, and the sound is a perfect fit for a game set in this time period!   It's also quite scary in certain spots, I won't give spoilers but the hospital section is pretty creepy and the graphics and animations just make it even more so!

I am having a blast so far, I would rate it a 8.5/10 with only points deducted for the black bar up top and bottom of the screen.  Seriously if you haven't played the game,  please don't comment or Troll until you do.

Thank you to Thorn and everyone else who sent something in. This would not even remotely possible if all of you weren't the passionate gamers that you are and want you voice heard so thank you and enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

How Much Is Enough?

So this question especially with recently playing through The Order:1886 got me thinking. When you buy a game how much time do you expect you should get out of it. With The Order only slight over 5 hours of story time and nothing really besides that I feel although the game was different and looked beautiful wasn't really enough in it.

Now of course different game types will have different views. Games which have active mulitplayers as their main draw really don't suffer from a shorter campaign. What about games who are short in length 5-8 hours but have multiple ways to play through the game to get different endings? Do we count this as more playtime. Do players actually play through multiple times to see the story?

I know if I was playing an RPG anything less than 20 hours would be an insult to me. There has to be time to develop the characters and the story. Otherwise it really isn't an RPG. I can think for an ARPG depending on the end game I expect at least 10 hours of story when it really comes down to it. Then again ARPGs end game sometimes is playing the game itself over and over. So that leads to more questions.

So I have though like this for days wondering if there really is some sort of magic number and really I can't say that there is. When you play a game you are either satisfied with the time you put into it or you aren't. There will always be those times when you wish there was more, but that is different feeling then this game actually needed more.

This really isn't about sidequests even though they can make the game more enjoyable. Sometimes they are a distraction from the true length of the game. Some games actually do a very good thing about hiding this from you. Same goes for collections lead you off the main path for just that amount of time to add an hour there or an hour there.

So when it comes down to it I guess I don't actually have an answer other than you will know when you are down. If you have concerns about play length of a game don't get it day 1 and check out a play through or a review on par time of the game itself. After all the most important thing is you as a gamer using your game time in a worthwhile fashion.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Price You Pay May Be Heavy Indeed

Here we are in the middle of the week once again. Last week we talked about games where sequels are something which would be of benefit to their respective series. This week the list is for games that don't need sequels so much that I think it would ruin the base game. Now this isn't a list of games I don't like that keep getting sequels regardless. Have a look and see if you agree.

5. Bully

Sometimes refered to as GTA: Highschool, but to me far from it. To me the GTA series lacks depth and now is just selling now based on its name and not the final product. Bully on the other hand had a marvelous setting and although not everything took care of itself I feel going back would turn it really into GTA: Highschool

4. Altered Beast

A game from my childhood that I played endless even downloaded it when it became available on PSN to relive all those times. Going back into the shapeshifting universe would just seem so wrong to a game that felt so right every time I got my hands on it.

3. Heavy Rain

With a story that is left open but done in such a way that you can decide on your own what happened. Some will point to the characters and how going back would give us an opportunity to be with them all again. To me this would ruin everything Heavy Rain gave up.

2.  Red Dead Redemption 

Sadly there is a sequel planned for this game. It doesn't need one and it shouldn't have one. When games are next level amazing releasing sequels really can destroy everything the series was built on. Can anyone say Devil May Cry?

1. Shadow of the Colossus

Sure there really is no room for a sequel to be made in my eyes, but truly one of those games when I completed it I got this feeling it was going to be milked forever. The game had everything and really is one of my favourite games ever with a twist ending I am still having trouble getting over.

There you have it this week's list. Is there any games you feel should never have sequels? Let me know as always!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

You Fail At Offering Help To Gamers If...

Fail Day! Yes it is already Tuesday so it is time to enjoy the day for what it is. That being the celebration of failure. So when thinking about what today would bring I thought of those times when you are giving or receiving advice which is pretty damn awful. So here is my shout out to those moments.

You Fail At Offering Help To Gamers If...

  • You stand up to point out the obvious
  • You laugh at repeated deaths
  • Your instructions are too vague to make any sense
  • You continuously try to grab the controller
  • While giving instructions you insult anything if it is something you wouldn't have done
  • You just sit there quiet observing the frustration
  • Your help is during the middle of a fight
  • You are a clicker or keyboard turner
  • You are watching a live match
  • Your ideas make Bagellord look like a gaming god
  • You don't know a phoenix down kills an undead minion
  • You believe fire gives you haste 

and finally

  • Your advice always starts with "Well when I did it.."

There you have it this week's edition of Fail. Hope you enjoyed it and will think before you give your advice next time

Monday, February 23, 2015

Tale of Tongues

So many of you may be aware I am a big fan of Cranius. Ever since Big Blue Dress was a thing I just couldn't have got enough. Then when he paired himself with Legs they have created countless great machinima for all of us to enjoy. So when I saw Tale of Tongue their new song and video I just couldn't help and share it with all of you. So enjoy!

Trust me I know.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Ask Gauss

Sunday! Weekend is getting ready to come to a close oh how it seems to flyby when you are not really doing anything people would consider productive. Useful weekend nonetheless. It is after all Sunday though so why don't we get to those questions needing answering.

So The Order:1886 how is?

I liked the story and how it progressed itself. Could have been a longer campaign just like I said for Beyond Two Souls. The gameplay stealth mechanics I can see bothering some people as it tends to a frustrating style of play that some people hate. I like the challenge, but can see how others may regret not having a choice option like a game like Hitman does. If you are curious about buying it check out some playthroughs I always say that is the best way to get a feel.

The Lost Vikings. Had a chance to play the hero?

I have played it in the try mode and while difficult to play can actually be pretty fun to play. Playing against them can be frustrating as well as someone playing them on your team who really has no business playing a hero with a high skill cap. So keep that in mind if you are thinking about purchasing them.

So you did a list of games which should have sequels what about ones that should not.

Sounds like a plan check it out Wednesday

There you have it questions all answered for the week. Thank you to everyone who sent one in this would not be possible without your input. Enjoy the remainder of your weekend!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Believe The Hype

So here we are end of the week and some of us will be getting ready for The Order:1886. Now I have been excited to play the game and I know there has been some reviews on it and how buyers should be warned of what they are getting. Kurator has an interesting take on the reviews that are currently out there for this week's Reader Post

So I know you are looking forward to The Order:1886 and I know you really don't like to look at reviews, but I have seen some pretty lackluster developers shooting down points from critics and then over concerning themselves with other things

The trend here is pretty straightforward: Game writers previewing the game aren't focusing on its lack of innovation, they’re focusing on its lack of fun. Maybe that’s a problem with the demos, or maybe it’s a problem with the game itself.

Either way, unless they deal with the primary concern people have with the game by linking and quoting them, they are simply defending a game based on a fictional account of its flaws—without actually discussing the gameplay experience at all.

This is hardly in the gamers best interests. An argument for why a game might actually be good isn't just over-hyping a product, it’s actively ignoring legitimate complaints other critics have had with a title leading up to its release. That’s not just unhelpful, it’s misleading.

Ultimately, the demos may all be poor examples of The Order: 1886′s final quality. It may be a fascinating game with a compelling Arthurian tale. It may have way better levels and combat than the ones that have been previewed.

But I’m predicting that all the excited, eager PS4 owners out there desperate for a good new game will be severely letdown come February 20th. And I include myself in those numbers. My lack of hype for this game has nothing to do with innovation, and everything to do with how it plays. I hope I’m wrong.

There you have. Thanks again to everyone who sent something in and if you will be playing The Order today or not enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Decline Of Sports Games

There was a time every year when I would be excited for the new iteration of a Sports game. I would be waiting and waiting checking out what the new features would be and I would buy it one day or another and would really enjoy playing the hell out of it.

Now at first I wasn't sure what changed, but truthfully I could never in my right mind spend money on a Sports game. I thought this might just be how my gaming habits might have changed and I appreciate a game wiht more involved story, mechanics, and so on and so forth. After all I still check out my favourite teams from various sports so it is not like I have disinterest in the sport itself.

Then it got me thinking now there really is only 4 sports games out there each from different sports that are even worth touching. The series are NHL, NBA 2K, FIFA, and MLB the Show. There is no competition for these games in any sense so really those developers really don't have to put any real new effort to change the game much. Sometimes in fact there are only small grpahical updates and roster changes and they call it a new game.

It used to be there was always 2 competing games for each sport. Each company would force the other to be better. Thus creating better games. Now with companies dropping out of the sports game market for whatever reason has lead to these games heading towards heavy decline. So much so in fact that at the video game awards they created a sports game category just so these games got some form of recognition.

Even the multiplayer atmosphere has got huge blogs by being removed from every major gaming competition around. So all you have is people who think they are the shit because they know how to glitch the game online.

Just sad day I guess because even though it has been happening for awhile the sports game genre is dying a slow death.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

It Can't Be For Nothing

So here we are on Wednesday waiting to see what list I will be doing today. If you read the last Ask Gauss you would have known that it is going to be all about Sequels which should happen today. I figured instead of just giving my go ahead on one might as well make it a list so here it goes.

5. Shenmue

Fans of the Shenmue series have been waiting for the 3rd installment of the game for pretty much ever. The games themselves were built to be sellers of the Dreamcast and were incredibly expense to produce. With all of that said I would love to see the 3rd game, but this is really in the never going to happen territory

4. Heavenly Sword

This is one that actually bothers me. They have the stories for 2 sequels. Yes you heard me right. They have stated this publicly many times. I have a feeling it has to do with it being an exclusive only title, but then again look now at the success of single platform games.

3. Assassin's Creed IV

So we are following Edward and we see Haythem at the end in the theater and we are still left wondering why did he forsaken everything and become a templar? Yes why did he!

2. Legend of the Dragoon

Here is a game where we thought we were going to get a sequel. Production was said to be started and then we never heard anything again. This game has a huge following and I would definitely be there day 1 if it was happening.

1. The Last of Us

This is arguably one of the great games of all time. The ending although it worked for the situation does leave questions you would like answers too. I do believe we will see a sequel will just have to wait for it.

There it is my list for the week. Hope we are all on the same page. Is there another game you think deserves a sequel? Let me know one way or another.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

You Fail At Being Ready For The Order:1886 If...Fail Day

Fail Day! Right after a long weekend too so everyone has Monday brain. With that just leaves me with more ammunition for this wonderful day. Also with one of the most anticipated games of the year just around the corner how could I resist.

You Fail At The Order:1886 If...

  • You have no idea what I am talking about
  • You own an XBOX
  • You haven't been re-watching the trailers for weeks
  • You didn't know it was set in the year 1886
  • You know nothing about the "half breeds"
  • You didn't know it is connected to the story of King Arthur
  • You are expecting only 1886 weapons
  • You don't think it will be worth getting
  • You don't like 3rd person style
  • You don't like to go on tours of London
  • You can't take mustaches seriously
  • You dislike Red Dawn as a developer

and finally

  • You didn't know it was coming on Friday and not Today

There you have it this week's edition of Fail. Hope you all enjoyed it and are ready for what is to come.

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Kenway Tragedy

So where I am from today is known as Family Day, and with that and it being Monday I figured I would showcase something today which keeps with the theme of the day. Have a look at the Kenway family and the tragedy which befell them.


Happy Family Day Everyone!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Ask Gauss

Well here we are the Sunday after Valentines. Hope everyone enjoyed it no matter if you choose to celebrate or keep away from the commercialization. Regardless if you are in recovery from fun or anger it is Sunday and it is time to get to the questions.

So I recently saw an article on the forums about how Broxigar really isn't that great of a warrior in terms of Lore, and would "struggle" against some of the others throughout Warcrafts history. Any thoughts?

Well as you probably know I am a pro Brox guy. Now yes I understand that he wielded an axe enchanted by a demigod. It was made to light, but as hard as diamond. So yes it was probably the axe which was the reason it did damage to Sargeras. Now with that in mind let's not forget what happened before that moment. He killed enough demons to be standing on a mountain of corpses and was still fighting them. Yes he created a MOUNTAIN of corpses. Magic axe or not you have to know how to use something. Not to mention Sargeras upon seeing the carnage he had caused remarked about his skills and that is when Broxigar swung and damaged the fallen titan. Every "best warrior ever" talk in Warcraft's history always needs to include talk of Brox.

Should there be Hero bans in Heroes of the Storm?

I know people are trying to make Heroes as close to the other MOBAs they have played. Now do I think bans are a good idea? Truthfully not really. The reasons they exists is because it means Heroes are just better for the group then anyone else. If this is the case it means the game isn't balanced correctly. Sure some groups will do better against others, but making it so certain Heroes are not available doesn't promote the community to change their approach to the game. It just avoids situations which the team doesn't want to deal with. I think allowing the community to come up with solutions to confront combos is really what competitive gaming is all about.

What game do you think needs a sequel?

Well we have a list for Wednesday now don't we?

There they are the question choices for the week. Hope you all enjoyed it, and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Med'an Issue

So here I was looking through some emails for this week's Reader Post when I figured I would just bring to attention a conversation I was having with Arcanevillain. This has to do with the issue of Med'an who at some point or another will make his way into the WoW story, but that time and when is yet to be determined. We were discussing changes we would like to see happen and this is what he came up with.

I hate Med'an's theme. I generally hate OP characters, teenagers and hybrids, especially hybrids that have blood of three races,but I can agree with that. We would need a guardian of Tirisfal. Especially the child of Medivh and grandchild of Aegwynn.

But only if they would change few things.

  • His age. Fortunately, he probably will be older, about 20+ years in WoW.
  • His power. Being a superduper powerful shaman, holy priest and mage in the same time is just bad. Being a mage + shaman/mage+ priest would be ok, but one of "classes" should be dominating. For example he would be powerful mage and very average shaman. 

Lore examples:

  • Thrall from times of War 3. He was a warrior and the shaman, but not the mightiest warriors of the times (Grom was stronger) and not the best shamans, he was just good, but not the most powerful of his kind.
  • Tyrande. Priestess of the Moon - a merge of priestess and a warrior/marksman. Good as both of them, but probably better as a priestess, because as I believe, there was plenty of mightiest warriors and archers, even if she was really good warrior though.
  • Arthas. As a paladin, he was warrior and priest in the same time. And he was good, strong warrior, but for example Varian was stronger. He also had some powers of priest ("paladin"), but for example Turalyon kicked more asses with his Light.
  • Sylvanas. A ranger while being alive, a dark ranger after death, what makes her a ranger and a banshee in the same time. But while she was alive, she probably was nice and strong ranger, after death - you know, rotting body isn't as strong and flexible as before. But she gain a powers of banshee, a powers of charm, haunt, psychomanipulation and probably also a powerful voice. So now she is nice as a banshee (and probably she uses a haunt and charm ability to control her people) but I doubt her powers as a ranger are still strong.

There are plenty of similar examples. There's nothing bad in being a battle-mage, who can cast fireballs, but also knows how to fight by the sword. There's also nothing bad in being mage and priest (or shaman) in the same time. So Med'an can be a mage and a shaman, but one of this should be stronger.

So while I hate Med'an I do like these fixes for the problems which are associated with him. Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Lost Vikings

As many of you know I have been a gamer for quite some time. Really almost as far back as I can remember I have been playing some form of game or another. There was one point when I was playing on my Super Nintendo where I enjoyed the company of 3 vikings kidnapped by some Aliens to be placed in an intergalactic zoo. For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about it is an oldie but a goodie in terms of Blizzard games.

I know when The Lost Vikings were announced to be part of the Heroes of the Storm lineup at Blizzcon many of you were shaking your head wondering why they would be making an appearence. No where has it said that all the Heroes had to be Warcraft, Starcraft, or Diablo related. This was a salute to the old school Blizzard fans. When really when you think about it that is what Heroes of the Storm is. Sure you could argue Blizzard wanted to get into the MOBA market and you are probably right, but they could have made a completely new IP with a different lineup. They would have been free with their art and and hero selection among everything else.

They wanted us as fans to feel connected to the game. They wanted us to be excited about the heroes we would be playing even though them killing each other has nothing to do with anything. This is why giving us Erik, Baleog, and Olaf really is the best thing they could have done. Now all we need is some Rock and Roll Racing.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Please Wait A Moment

So here I was thinking about what I would do the list on today when I was looking at my idea page and saw one that I have had completed for awhile and just never posted it. Now this doesn't mean it is not a good list it really just means I just haven't found a good time to actually share it. That is until today! So here it is the top 5 things in video games that piss me off.

5. Unfair Computer Players

So here you are just minding your own business doing your thing when computer players can do things which really are impossible. This happens a lot in racing games where the computer control cars seem to some how be faster when they are trying to catch you.

4. Invisible Walls

So there you are in a beautifully designed environment and instead of the devs making some sort of obstacle you cannot get through they decide to put in an invisible wall so they can show off all the beautiful area you are not able to go through. Serious there are times I actually just stop playing a game after I see this happen.

3. Repeated Cutscenes

So I love cutscenes in games. I love the art departments brining things to life so we all can see the vision that is the game. What I don't love though is if you say die and have to repeat a sequence and there is no way to skip the cutscene. This just adds to the frustration if you keep dying again and again and you want to throw something.

2. Escort Quests

Why do these still exist? Are they just a running joke of developers to piss gamers off. I don't think I have ever met someone who says "You know that escort quest? I loved it." 

1. Loading Times

This isn't as bad as it once was but it still exists. When you are into a game the last thing you want is to wait 2-3 minutes over and over again to get to the next part. It is frustrating and aggravating especially when you are reentering an area again and again.

There you have it. This week's list all put together for everyone to have a look. Hope you enjoyed it if you agree or not.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

You Fail At Being OP If...

So last week I was talking about balance and how gamers from all around complain about it. Sometimes though thinks which are supposed to be balance are not and you do get some overpowered stuff going on. Then again even when people have these tools they still fail at them.

You Fail At Being OP If...

  • You have to ask what OP means
  • You are a keyboard turner
  • You are a clicker
  • You are asking why it matters if you are a keyboard turner or a clicker
  • You are not topping any meters
  • Running back seems to be the majority of your gameplay
  • You mindless do the same things even after you are killed several times
  • You complain that someone else is overpowered
  • You keep asking what the god mode cheat is
  • You have not enough minerals
  • You don't take advantage of your obvious advantage
  • You constantly field goal yourself
  • You die repeatedly while soloing mercenary camps

and finally

  • You cannot find the "I Win" button

There you have it this week's edition of fail. Hope you got a kick out of it and are no where to be found in the list this week.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Starcrafts Doom Drop

So as you all know I love what Carbot Animations has done not only for the community of Starcraft, but for bringing those into games they wouldn't normally pickup and play. Don't think Blizzard doesn't thank him everyday for doing what he does. So with that in mind anytime there is a new Starcrafts episode or anything related to Carbot I cannot help but show appreciation.

Yes and I understand the irony in the fact of how I lose to doom drops so often.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Ask Gauss

Sunday! Happy almost weekend over! There is nothing like knowing you only have hours left before you have to return to work, but then again today you can watch Walking Dead and Better Call Saul. So there is light at the end of the tunnel. As you all know though Sunday is about answering some questions so might as well get to it.

Episode 2 of the the Game of Thrones came is on its way. Any thoughts?

Well I am hoping for a little more action then in the first episode. Now I understand like with any game the begining is all about character development. This is fine and I enjoyed the first episode and not just because I have been aching for some GoT. I know the entire season will build off each other just like the Walking Dead game, which really has become one of my favourites. For those who have not play episodic games before I think you will see exactly what I mean if you stick with it. Also if you are not a fan of half playing a then you can always wait till the end when they are all available and don't have to worry about any of it.

Are you planning on playing Season 2 in D3?

I will eventually level another Hardcore character within the season. Really playing through the story fresh is some of my favourite things to do in the game. I know others just want to skyrocket leveling and gear their characters up. Now don't get me wrong I love making my characters beastly, but to me it gets repetitive and with so many other games on my playlist at the moment I don't really have or want to invest that sort of time into competing on the Leaderboards.

Almost time for The Order.

February 20th cannot come soon enough!

There they are questions for the week. Thank you to everyone who sent something in as always this wouldn't be possible without your input. Enjoy what is left of your weekend!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Competition Breeds Dullness

Friday! Now normally I would sit back and introduce how today being Friday leads to a Reader Post and so on and so forth. Instead of doing that I am going to talk a little about the post Jaetch has submitted. Now it is about the change over in seasons and how Diablo III is looked at currently. While I completely see many of his points why these points exist is why I have been against Leaderboards in the game like Diablo III. Everything isn't going to be fair and any point and you don't want to be forced to play a specific way just to compete. Diablo should be about playing how you want slaying demons and making your style worth it an interesting. This is why Blizzard has "Play Your Way Thursday". With Leaderboards it just makes people who play the game extensively play the way which is most optimal and not the way they have the most fun. With all of that in mind here is Jaetch's post.

In the crudest form, I think most people can consider hardcore players (not the mode, which I usually stylize as Hardcore with a capital H) those who dedicate hours upon hours of efficient grindy gameplay to maximize their character’s potential. These players are always on top of the latest trends, whether it involves gearing strategy, gameplay strategy, game format, exploits, whatever it may be—and they capitalize on all of them while they can, as soon as they can.

On the other side of the spectrum, there are casual players. Also in the crudest form, I think casual players as those who really aren’t concerned about what’s going on around them. This isn’t a bad thing. Casual players will play when they want, how they want, and for as long as they deem necessary to be entertained.

But I guess I should mention one more, which is the “semi-casual.” I consider these players those who are willing to take part in hardcore gaming activities, such as grinding for long hours, but also take the time to just do whatever they want without fearing that they’re falling behind other players, or perhaps more importantly, their peers.

The first Season and Era have been a roller coaster ride. Unfortunately, at least for me, it’s come to the point where I’m on my umpteenth time on the ride and the roller coaster lost momentum and is now stuck. The engineers are nowhere to be found and those currently on the ride are left stranded. I’ve had great experiences with the ride; else I wouldn’t have climbed back on over and over. But the ride’s current state kind of ruined it and the memories of past rides aren’t enough to let me say, “Ah, it’s okay. I’ll just wait until everything is fixed and ready to go.”

Mind you, I’m not burned out. I still play for a few hours every single day—barring real life obligations. I don’t try nor force myself to play. I want to.

However, I cannot consider keeping my hardcore player mentality. Why? Because of the state of the game. This roller coaster ride is broken and continues to deteriorate. That’s as blunt as I can be.

I get that the first Season and Era were more or less experimental. That’s fine. It’s great to try something out live and learn how players react and interact with the content. Totally fine. I’m okay with testing things out and being a guinea pig. I’m sure many players are totally fine with it, too. Those who aren’t can just ignore it and move along to do what they want to do. But there comes a point when it’s just too much, too long, and there comes a major disconnect.

I don’t know when this major disconnect happened, but I guess it’s just something that’s been wearing on me for the last couple months. The more I learn about the game, the more problems I see. And the more problems I see that remain unsolved, unaddressed, with little hope to be solved or addressed anytime soon, the more I grow dispirited.

And I think that’s a curse that befalls many hardcore players. We know and understand too much about the game, its mechanics and limits, that we end up depriving ourselves of content. And no, I don’t buy any excuses that may or may not come from developer standpoints (not necessarily those from Blizzard), that “the players don’t know what they want.” I hear that fairly frequently from various sources. Hell, where I work right now, we have designers and tech leads who try their best to balance what the company wants to do versus what users and clients want to see. It’s tough, I know.

Regardless, there are so many things that just demands addressing that plague gameplay now and very likely the near future. These are things that negatively impact the experience and also jeopardize the integrity of the game in the long haul. In no particular order:

Power creep: More set items pigeon-holing players. Sets are powerful. Great. They dictate what you play. Not great. And the vast power gap that continues to grow between different classes as players become more powerful just makes the experience absolutely terrible. Introducing ancient items just made it worse.

And in the near future? Introduce more 6-piece sets. I get that the intent is likely to have multiple class sets to choose from and players can say, “Hey! I’m a Firebird wizard!” “Hey! I’m a Vyr-Archon wizard!” “Hey! I’m a Delsere wizard!” “Hey! I’m a Tal Rasha wizard!” …and I’m excited about that. In a class-specific vacuum. But what about in comparison to other classes?

Demon hunters may hate me for saying this, but what’s with the power gap there? If making classes more balanced with each other is important, how on earth did M6 DHs go from ahead of the curve to further ahead of the curve? Highest leaderboard placement? I pray that’s not the case. I don’t understand how this happens. If sets are being designed for players to strive for in terms of end-game gearing, how did no one forecast this?

Difficulty scaling: This is tied to the power creep issues. Players get stronger! Content gets more trivial! Players reach a new difficulty ceiling! Players cannot progress further! Introduce more gear! Players get stronger! Old content gets even more trivial! Players reach yet another new difficulty ceiling! Players again cannot progress further! …Introduce more gear and repeat? How long can this go on for?

Why must difficulty simply be a gear check? Why must difficulty simply revolve around players taking more damage and monsters growing fatter and fatter with each level increase? This has been a questionable feature since classic/vanilla D3. Each higher difficulty setting simply meant monsters dealt more damage and took longer to kill. That’s it. So instead of firing off three Cluster Arrows, I have to fire off ten. Great. Is that supposed to be harder?

Can it instead be something like… limited visibility? Trap doors and guillotines threatening to shred your character around every corner? Smarter monster AI? Faster monsters? More elaborate dungeons? A combination of all of these with maybe a minor upscaling to monster damage and health?

ZDPS support WD: For those who don’t know what it’s like to play in group Greater Rifts in the high 50s or low 60s, you need a witch doctor. More specifically, you need a WD that runs Tiklandian Visage with high cooldown reduction to permanently Horrify nearby enemies. These enemies can get permanently locked down with Fear and rooting effects. When properly executed, these enemies are simply high-HP statues that DPS characters in the party gun down over time. Sounds familiar? Think of the CM wizard in classic/vanilla D3, except the WD doesn’t do any damage.

So it’s pretty fair that the spec continues to exist because alone, it can’t really do much. But what if you throw on legacy gear such as Skull Grasp, Stone of Jordan, and Homunculus? The legacy versions of these items can come with flat cooldown reductions to Zombie Dogs, allowing the WD to incessantly summon Zombie Dogs, specifically with the Final Gift rune, to spawn infinite health globes. What happens when you have infinite health globes? Characters that run Reaper’s Wraps have infinite resources. Having infinite healing is just a bonus at this point. Now you combine all these perks with the WD’s perma-lock ability with Horrify and Tiklandian Visage… you get the idea.

What if you took out the WD’s role in this group composition? Just imagine the gameplay. Just imagine it. It would be a little different, wouldn’t it? It would be a little more action-packed, wouldn’t it?

I run the WD spec pretty often in a group composition. I know its strengths and weaknesses and I have to say, hands down, the pros outweigh the cons. It’s not even comparable. But the spec is a necessity at high levels because of how difficulty scaling works in this game.

Exploits: I’m not going to list all of them, past and present, but there are too many. I understand that it’s probably impossible to detect or predict all exploits, but something should be done to speed up how they get addressed. Many of them were left running for far too long that the damage cannot be undone. Largely because of exploits, I’m strongly leaning toward completely avoiding anything related to leaderboards from this point forward. In order to keep up or stay ahead, you have to find as many existing exploits as possible and—for the lack of a better word—“cheat” your way through. Otherwise, it is literally impossible to keep up or stay ahead.

Again, something hardcore players have to deal with. Once you start keeping up with news and trends, it’s just… absolutely dispiriting.

Bots: I’ve debated about talking about this. I would like to keep all hush-hush about it because I’d like to prevent every possible opportunity of more players learning about it, but honestly, I don’t even know whether more people know about it or more people are playing in blissful ignorance.

There are too many bots, especially amongst hardcore players. I even see more and more “semi-casual” players hopping on board with botting lately. In my clan alone, we’ve caught five people botting in less than a year. Two people reformed and stopped. Two people were more or less forced to walk away. One was straightup kicked because he was botting as our officers were trying to talk to him.

I see and I know people who bot seven days a week for hours at a time. I have people tell me personally that they bot and leave names of numerous others who also bot. I’ve reported several people for botting with blatant evidence. To this day, none have been caught. Zero. Every single one of them has gotten away with botting. So what’s preventing other players from doing the same? Who wouldn’t want free loot and experience while they’re away from their computer? A simple message in the EULA that says (paraphrased), “don’t use third party programs or risk getting your account banned”? Where are the bans?

Not to justify botting, but at least amongst some of the hardcore players that I’ve heard from, many are botting simply because there’s nothing left for them to do other than to acquire some more of the same gear for that 0.1% upgrade so they can maybe attempt to tackle the leaderboard one more time. And you know what? I can somewhat relate to that, except I prefer to physically be there when I do find that upgrade. Ancient items don’t help. They’re the same items. Same types of stats. You’re playing the same builds.

…that’s just some of the issues that I see and just don’t want to deal with anymore. I’d love to stop considering myself a hardcore or even a “semi-casual” player and just stop caring. But how do you unlearn nearly three years of information regarding this game? I can’t. And no matter how much I’d like to try, I’ll probably still continue to stay up-to-date on all the trends within the game.

Unless there are sweeping changes, I cannot escape any of the issues either. It doesn’t matter if I go to Seasons or Hardcore. If exploits exist in one format, it’ll exist in another. I can avoid legacy gear in Seasons, but the same concept of a ZDPS support WD will continue to be applied there. Perhaps I can run Seasonal Hardcore and see if there are fewer rampant bots. Who knows.

I do not know how the game will evolve in the coming months or how it’ll be like on this day in 2016. I hope there will be improvements and if so, I look forward to them. I just have no idea what’s going on right now nor what to expect. This roller coaster I enjoy riding is stuck and I can’t see the engineers fixing it and making it better.

There you have it some food for thought for your weekend!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Once Upon A Time

So I am often asked what the first game I played was. Now without dating myself completely the first games I remember playing were for the Commodore 64. Now obviously gaming was much different back then and I wouldn't say that I took it very seriously. It was just something I did with my brothers and sisters.

I wouldn't say things got completely different for my gaming wise until the NES showed up at my house and Super Mario Bros became a thing along with the every so often rage through of Duck Hunt. It was with Mario that I started more to just enjoy playing video games. This then evolved into my becoming a student of Video Games when I used to watch my older brother play the original Final Fantasy. I learned quite a bit and to his regret when he failed to beat the final boss when he eventually got there. I woke up early the next morning and did it myself. He wasn't amused that his 9 year old brother completed a game he had been working on for countless hours, but like I said I became a student of the game while watching.

This is why I think I love games that make you think and are not just mindless. I like there to be a challenge in not just difficulty, but something which makes you step back and think about your approach. I know this isn't really popular with the modern game, but it still exists and I hope it does. Sure entire games are not built like this anymore, but there are those points sidequests or not that make you earn your keep.

So yes my start into gaming was probably different then most of yours, but I would be willing the start you had really has made an impact on the type of games or the things you appreciate in the games you play today. If you don't think so I challenge you to sit back and think about it for a few minutes and really I believe you will be quite surprised.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

I've Read A Book Or Two

Wednesday you know that day in the middle of the week. The middle although often good isn't really that great if it doesn't start and end well. You know like a 3 parter. This brings me the topic of this week's list. The best trilogies. Now let me be specific her in that they need to be only 3 games and the story must build on the last and have a clear start and finish. So obviously that excludes a lot of options out there. So here are my top trilogies.

5. Final Fantasy XIII

Now I know people have given this Final Fantasy game a lot of slack because the first game was too linear. I understand those complaints, but that is no reason to look away how the story made a full turn around. How often is a trilogy in place where you are playing 3 separate styles and really 3 different main characters. This doesn't happen. So no matter what anyone says I cannot exclude this from my list.

4.Donkey Kong

What can I say. The king of side scroll trilogies gave us something frustrating yet fun to play over and over. Countless hours were wasted in these games and I wouldn't trade that time for anything.

3. Mass Effect

Yes the ending wasn't what everyone expected. I get that. This still doesn't take away from a trilogy which let you build on what you did in the previous games and bring it to the next. It really was a completely personal environment for you from game to game.

2. Assassin's Creed II

Everyone loves Ezio, and seeing him from birth to the very end of his assassin career is something gamers will never forget. By far one of the most likable protagonists in any game. The story came together so nicely and really does anything beat revenge?

1. Uncharted 

Now I know this is going to get a 4th game. Which is not out yet and the story as a whole was wrapped up nicely from start to finish with the 3 games. I figured though before it gets a forth game no matter how connected or not better give this series the best trilogy vote before it is too late.

There you have it. The list is out and send your arguments this way because I know they are coming.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

You Fail At Complaining About Balance If...

Fail Day! Yes it is that time of the week. When thinking about what I was going to go off about this week I couldn't resist something people go off about all the time in really any game when there is some form of balance at all. People love to come up with reasons why they messed up and really this is one of the most common out there. So here we go.

You Fail At Complaining About Balance If...

  • You are just bad
  • You just started playing a game
  • Your idea of balance is you should always win
  • You have not put any effort into learning about said game
  • You think you are an Esports champion in the making
  • You are not topping a DPS meter
  • You are not topping a Healing Meter
  • You are a tank
  • Anything you lose to is just simply unfair
  • You never change tactics
  • You overly use the phrase "Why is this crap so OP"
  • You constantly bump your post on forums to get your point across

and finally

  • You only complain about it when you lose

There they are. How much are you failing today? Ya you should probably go hide in the corner in the fetal position.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Garrosh and the Chopper

So being Monday I tend to step back and think about things that have absolutely no reason what so ever to enter my mind, When I first say that Matthew McConaughey commercial with him preaching in the car and rambling about everything it really made me think this is what I would be like if someone actually recorded my thought sessions. Then when I first saw Ian Beckman's take on the commercial with his Garrosh chopper version I didn't know what to do besides share it with you all so here it is.

I know I know.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Ask Gauss

Here we are on yet another Sunday morning wondering once again about where in the hell our weekend went. It is rather depressing I know, but we must push on and in my case answer some of the questions sent to me throughout the week. So let's just get to it.

Do you find right now there is just too much to do in WoW?

I have found there is quite a bit to do in the new expansion and you find yourself sitting around not doing anything while you decide what you are actually going to do. This is a problem the developers had to have thought about. Giving players too much to do and not really enough time to do it is quite the problem. I know there is people like me out there who like to take part in a game fully and not ignore certain aspects of it. If you have to this can lead to frustration in the game, which is not what is wanted in the first place. I don't know if WoW has gone that far but I know they are pretty close.

You think forcing people to buy 10 Heroes in Heroes of the Storm is the right decision?

I am not sure if you realize but to have 10 unique heroes in a game in a draft environment you actually do need 10 heroes in case you are the one picking last. Now I know this can seem frustrating, but from what I have noticed this really isn't going to be a problem unless you level to 30 using only a couple heroes. You shouldn't have to spend any money at all to do so. You have your dailies earning 200-800g a day not to mention the leveling gold bonuses and throw in the fact you get 500g for leveling any hero to level 5. I know people are seeing this as Blizzard trying to cash in, but those same people are even thinking about the logistics behind it.

One does not simply?

Play for 10 more minutes.

There you have it questions all answered up for the week. Hope you all got something out of it. As always thanks to everyone who sent something in, you make this entire post possible in doing so.

Enjoy what is left of your weekend!