Just keep swimming…

I have been reading about Rift a LOT lately.  Many of my favorite bloggers are playing it furiously.

I am really keen to try it out now that it is done with the beta stage and actually released.  I dislike starting a new mmo until a lot of the heat has died down.  Waiting for 45 minutes just to tag a quest mob on my crappy Australian connection is just down right depressing.

There seems to have been a lot of improvements to the game and I still believe it is one of the best class systems in the game.  Hopefully the end-game is still fun and interesting.  I don’t raid anymore, but games like WoW still have a tremendous amount of stuff to do once you hit the level cap.  I grind on my reputations and do some PVP while working on my professions.  Not to mention levelling new alts, which is just so damn fun in WoW at the moment, its hard to resist.

Sadly I don’t think that I will get to rift any time soon.  My wife and I are still being made redundant and we are still moving back to my old hometown to live with my parents until we work out where to go next.  My wife is a medical scientist and there is not a whole lot of demand for that position in Australia at the moment.  I am more of a jack-of-all-trades, I have had many different jobs but the main qualification I has is in IT.  Believe it or not but a small town of 15,000 people does not have a whole lot of IT work.

There is so much more to do before we move, I am still not sure when we are going.  As I am plowing through all the things I need to do I constantly hear Dory singing ‘Just keep swimming’.  I can’t wait till this is all over and I can just relax for a while and revel in the fact that I am back around friends and family when I move home.

That being said, I will still try to play some League of Legends and of course all my single-player games.

I will also try and keep posting here, I still have an internet connection, just not a very good one.

-Sighfigh

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New MMO vs. Old MMO

There has been a lot of talk in the blogging community about Rift and how fantastic it is.

Chris over at Game By Night recently posted his opinions on how WoW has chaned and the demographic it is now aimed at.  There are many good points in his post and you should really go check it out.

I am going to use his post as a springboard for my own opinions.

I have been playing WoW since the beginning.  I did not play the beta (I generally don’t play beta versions of games, they tend to make me dislike the game).  I haven’t been active the entire time, I took breaks and came back.

The WoW that we have now is a completely different game to the vanilla version.  I have seen a lot of blogs commenting that Cataclysm has ruined the game to the point that some of them have quit.  I on the other hand think that Cataclysm was a fantastic expansion compared to the horrible content in WoTLK.  I also loved BC.

There are a lot of people reminiscing about the times they spent in vanilla, how great it was, how horrible the game is now.  I want you to ask yourself, would you still be playing vanilla now?

Here is how I remember vanilla.

  • Very slow and boring to level.
  • Classes were stuck in particular rolls.  Warriors (Tanking), Druids (Healing), Paladins (Buffs) etc…
  • Grinding for a loooong time for atunement and then having to generally apply to get into the raiding guilds.  Depending on your class, sometimes you never had a chance.
  • Gold was hard to gather, I remember many people stuck with their normal mount simply because they could not get enough gold to buy their epic mount.
  • The warlock and paladin epic mount quest lines were horrible and long and ended up either costing a lot of gold or a ridiculous amount of time.
  • If you did not want to raid (or couldn’t for whatever reason) the endgame was particularly boring.
  • Being stuck in a raid that took 2-3 hours just to organize and having the raid wipe and disband anyway.
  • A personal complaint.  Some of my epic gear looked like level 10 gear.

If WoW was still like that, I would not be playing it.  I don’t play WoW to raid or even to fully gear out my characters.  I play for fun and because I love the game.  I love to level up alts which means that this expansion is awesome with all the new low level content.

That leads me to my next point.  A lot of people have been comparing Rift to WoW in 2004 or how WoW used to be.  One of them being Syncaine over at Hardcore Casual.  Syncaine has a great breakdown of what he thinks of Rift and where he thinks it is going.  Again it is a great post that I think everyone should read.

I actually agree with Syncaine that  Rift is bringing some great ideas to the table that may have been in other games here and there.  Public Quests,  Invasions and the looting system are all great ideas, not to mention the cool class system that they have introduced.  While it looks versatile and customizable at the moment, there will eventually be ‘cookie cutter’ builds that you will have to use.  I am hoping that the end-game will be able to support any wacky and wild build that you can come up with.  This however would also lead to the content being ‘dumbed’ down to accomodate a less than stellar build.

I am still of the opinion that Rift, while it may be a good game is still going to ‘fail’ in it’s goal to be a ‘wow killer’.  I estimate that it will fit into the same market as LoTRO, a damn good game, just not a WoW killer.

Of course these are all just my opinions and as such opinions do change, maybe I will get madly hooked into Rift when it releases, I doubt it, but I have been wrong before.  I will not be participating in the beta any further as I feel that my views on it will degrade with further play before it is finished and released.

I personally am kind of over all the fantasy mmo’s that are on the market.  I have a good fantasy mmo in WoW.  The next mmo that I can see myself sinking time into is SWTOR.  Something different with a decent budget and a focus on story.  Sounds great to me!

-Sighfigh

Holy new computer Batman!

Computer Troubles

So, with all the computer explosions and other shenanigans, I have been taken out of action recently.

All fixed!

I have an entirely new computer for myself and my wife now has my old pc with a bunch of upgraded parts.  I built them up, installed all relevant software and they are now working perfectly.

Gaming Troubles

  • League of Legends

I am currently on a massive losing streak in League of Legends at the moment.  I keep getting lumped with horrible team-mates that think they are awesome when in fact they are actually pretty bad.

I have been playing a fair bit of Sion, the stun with such a short cooldown is just too good if you have a good team, it is also helpful for ganking squishies like Ashe/Teemo/Miss Fortune.  I mainly play him as AD/Crit Chance which is so much fun.  Going a full AP build is not as much fun but it is a sight to kill an Ashe with just my rotation of stun and explosion in about 1 second flat.

  • Rift

This game is a disappointment.

I know it is still in beta and there is still a lot of work to be done but for crying out loud, how hard is it to create smooth gameplay?  There are so many bugs but that is another story.

When I am playing my ranger, I use a few different shots, none of them seem to have an animation because the combat is so broken that it just doesn’t play most of the time.

It is so incredibly easy, I have never felt that a quest is hard or that any of the rifts pose any great danger.  Sure, I have died a few times but that was because I was stupid or something spawned on top of me while I was fighting something else (another horribly annoying thing).

The rifts are meant to provide ‘dynamic content’ but in actual fact can be quite annoying.  It is just a dps e-peen showoff to see who can top the kill list for the rift and get the better loot.  While this helps promote people actually fighting in the open rifts, it just seems like a shallow excuse for dynamic content in my opinion.  Im not sure if it can be called dynamic when the same rift opens in the exact same spot 4 times in an hour session.

One of the saving graces for this game is the character classes.  I do like being able to have a lot of customization in how I play my character.  Currently I am a ranger/bard, with bard leveled up to the first major buff that you can get and ranger for the rest.  Also the character models are pretty sweet, except the dwarf models, they just look weird.

The main thing that breaks this game for me is that i have played this game before.  Everything in this game has been done in other games in some form or another, there is nothing new here and most of the old stuff seems broken anyway.  The whole time I am playing this game all I can think of is that I could be having just as much fun playing World of Warcraft or LOTRO and having a much smoother and much much more polished experience.

Time will tell if this game gets any better by its release but I don’t have my hopes up.  I think the designers are deluding themselves if they think that what they have in their rifts system is ‘dynamic content’.

  • Grand Theft Auto IV

Man this game is good IF you play it on the PS3 or Xbox.  The PC version of the game plays fine on my new computer but it ran like a fly in molasses on my old computer.  It is so demanding on resources even after the patch that was supposed to fix all these issues, it did fix a lot of things, just not enough.

The multiplayer while tremendous fun if just broken, why can’t I just have an old fashioned server browser rather than this stupid crap where I have to open up my phone to play some multiplayer action?  Not to mention using GFWL is just plain stupid, that program is more broken than the remote control helicopter that I got for christmas and then flew into the ground at high speed.  It is simply broken.

  • Starcraft 2

I love this game, boy do I suck at it though.  I played a few multiplayer matches the other day and just got owned.  I think I will stick to watching gameplay videos on YouTube.

  • Darksiders

One of the worst ports to PC I have ever played, if you don’t have an xbox control for your PC don’t buy this.  If you have an Xbox or a PS3, buy it on that.  Simple.

  • Monday Night Combat

I have a lot of love for this game.  The server browser is broken though.  How hard is it to get a server browser that works?  Considering that this game is primarily multiplayer, having a working server browser would probably help.

  • Magicka

This game is great, I really enjoy it.  However.  The game’s release date was pushed back for the retail version of the game, though it was still released on steam.  Big mistake.  I played this a few hours after it released and it was so broken you could not get past the second room of the tutorial.  All the text was screwed up along with countless other bugs.  They patched all of this quite quickly and it all works fine now.  They really should have just delayed the steam launch as well.

Anyway, that is enough rambling for today.

-Sighfigh

Back to normality!

There have not been a lot of posts over the last few weeks as I have just been flat-out and have not really had the time to do much gaming at all.

Christmas was a blast and so was new-years.  That being said, I am glad that it is all over and I can now return to my normal routine of doing things.

Not a lot of World of Warcraft has been played lately, I have been playing a lot of the games that I have bought in the recent Steam sales.  Wow I have spent a lot of money.  In between playing the games from Steam I have been playing an aweful lot of League of Legends.  I recently started playing Sion with an attack damage build and I am really enjoying it.  I have been having a horrible losing streak of late though, bad luck getting teams with afk’ers/leaver’s or with people who simply do their own thing and don’t work with the team at all.  For example, I was in a game where we had a Xin that was more interested in getting buffs and killing the dragon than helping us defend, in the process we lost 2 towers and an inhibitor, then he has the nerve to call one of the other players a noob?!?!?!?!  It is people like this that make this game suck.

I love LoL and will probably play it for a long time to come but wasting 45 minutes on a game that you cannot win because not only do some of the players suck but will not surrender is depressing.  Considering just playing ranked games all the time.

List of steam games I have bought:

  • Darksiders – I have been interested in getting this since I saw a review on The Totally Rad Show.  I have not installed this yet, Steam has been really slow to download from while the sale is going.
  • Bethesda Pack – I mainly bought this pack for a digital version of Fallout 3 and for Fallout: New Vegas.  The pack was only slightly more expensive than New Vegas alone.
  • Company of Heroes games – I loved these games years ago.  I mainly bought these for nostalgia purposes but will still replay them when the time comes.
  • Mafia 2 – Loved the first game, second looks to be more of the same goodness.  Mmm Goodness.
  • Divinity 2 – Looks interesting and for $20, I think I will get my money’s worth.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2 – Played the crap out of the first one.  Never really played the second game.  Looks a little dated but the gameplay still seems solid.
  • Assassin’s Creed 2 – Played the first one and despite some repetitiveness was still a good game.  This game is a whole lot more fun than the first so far.
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops – Played of lot of Modern Warfare 2 and was dissapointed that there were no dedicated servers.  This game is much of the same, gamplay is similar despite a few different guns and killstreaks.  Dedicated servers make this game much better though, shame the server browser is really poorly done.  Games that are 4 years old have a better server filter than in this game.

Of course, there has been a tremendous amount of Minecraft being played.  My friends and I have been playing the new survival multi-player and man it is so much fun playing together.  After playing the multi-player I can’t really play single player anymore, it just doesn’t seem as fun.

I have also been using DosBox to play some of the old GoldBox games.  The games are VERY dated now but are still a lot of fun.  I spent a lot of my youth playing these games and re-visiting them has been great fun.

I also plan on hooking into some video editing and getting some videos uploaded to YouTube on the various games that I have been playing.  I have some very old but good LoL stuff to upload.

-Sighfigh

WoW oh WoW!

I was away all last weekend so I did not have the time to write up another post.

World of Warcraft! The Cataclysm patch has come out and wow is there a lot of changes.  I have been playing it for a few days now and I still don’t know my way around Orgrimmar.  Just out of curiosity I made a new baby troll to check out the new troll area.  This is a very well designed area, nothing too fancy but it has a lot of variety and is damn fun to play.  I am tempted to create a baby orc to check out the orc starting area to see whether Blizzard bothered to fix up some of the issues that I mentioned in my post here.

With the introduction of Troll Druids I don’t have to watch a big hairy cow all the time.  The new forms look pretty damn sweet as well.  I would still roll a Tauran for a Paladin because, lets face it, everything is better than a Blood Elf.  In fact trolls can be everything except paladins, awesome for me considering that I will always roll a troll if I can.

I am only up to level 14 with my Warrior at the moment but I am really liking the way that quests are given out.  You have a few quests with a certain person and then he sends you onto the next person etc.  Not to mention that the quests so far have been quite varied and fun.  I can’t wait till I hit level 15 and start tanking some instances.

My mage that I have mentioned before is now level 73, nearly 74.  I am hoping that I will get him to 80 in the next week so that he is ready to rock and roll once Cata hits.  I spec’d into fire to check that out and while it was fun, it was nothing compared to arcane, I DESTROY things when I am in arcane spec.  Nothing lasts through 2 arcane blasts and barrage/missiles.

All in all, lots of fun and exploring to come, I am still not sure whether I will focus on the level 80-85 stuff or just keep leveling lower characters when the expansion hits.

-Sighfigh

Magetastic

I have a level 71 mage that I am trying to level up before Cataclysm hits.  With all the changes to stats I have ended up with nearly 1000 spell power!  This is awesome and helps with levelling a lot.  I have the chest and shoulder heirloom pieces and my experience is just flying by.

He has nearly 400 tailoring and enchanting which will also come in handy when Cataclysm hits.

I am currently spec’d into frost but with my mana regen and the raw spell power I have, I think that I would be fine spec’d into any of the talent trees.  Water Elementals are damn fun pets to have.

-Sighfigh

No news is good news….right?

Not a lot of stuff to write about recently.  Every man and his dog has covered all the new Wow stuff that has come out.  Since there is no real news of note, I will just embellish on a few things that caught my attention.

World of Warcraft

  • My death knight in Wow is currently spec’d as 2-h frost (Mainly due to the fact that there are good 2-handers available at his level).  Boy does he do some damage now, I am doing some mega damage when killing machine comes up and I get a critting obliterate.  He is only level 67 at the moment, trying to level him to 80 by the time that Cataclysm comes out.
  • I am going to give up on my 80 Shaman.  I am just not feeling that any love is coming to this class.  I have play a shaman since launch and has been my first capped character in all iterations of the game (Vanilla, BC, Wrath).  Shaman of no matter what spec just seem to be crap.  They keep getting these radical changes (Ele shaman’s using lightning shield WTF!) so clearly even blizzard have no idea what to do with them either.  I think resto is pretty solid but I still prefer to heal as a druid or a priest.
  • I have been levelling a priest with some mates through instances, he is about level 46ish and his holy spec’d healing is very strong now.  I only ever run out of mana if we have some kind of disaster (huntards pulling other wandering packs, particularly in ZF).  Even if things go haywire, all that is required is a mana pot and I let my spirit based regen take care of the rest.  They have made it quite easy to heal the vanilla instances so far.  Going to try out discipline spec at some point to see how well that works with less than ample talent points.
  • My 71 mage is looking pretty lonely on a server all by himself.  Might bring him over to Khaz’Goroth at some point, he is quite fun to play.

Minecraft

  • The latest patch brought in a bunch of cool things.  Biomes are quite fun to deal with, I have a tree house built in a forest and an Ice Castle (built with snow blocks about 2 minutes walk away.  I have had a little play in the “Nether”.  I have died numerous times and lost a bunch of stuff in lava, speaking of lava I have fallen into some numerous times, one time in the same spot three times.  I had a base built down there with a minecart system but I deleted that would so I could try some new things (my world had biomes but because the chunks had already been loaded I had to walk a looooooong way to see any changes).
  • Had issues with one world I generated, found heaps of gold and coal but not a lot of iron and pretty much no diamond.  Deleted and re-generated, found diamond almost straight away.  Thats just the way minecraft rolls.

Eve Online

  • I haven’t played Eve for a long time, I have a great time in that game but I burn out pretty quickly.  I only have one real-life friend that plays it and he also doesn’t play it that often either.
  • There was a massive battle in Eve the other week.  There are plenty more bloggers better at explaining this than me.  Ardwulf did 2 posts here and here.  Syncaine also did a post here.  I think that it is fantastic that a ‘niche’ title can boast such a tremendous achievement.  Props to the team over at CCP for building such a stable and fantastically diverse game.

The game that is taking up most of my time recently is League of Legends.  I am well and truly hooked on this game.  I will make a post about it in the next few days.

-Sighfigh