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.



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!


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.