Important Stuff!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Steam Summer Sale; the ACTUAL pay-to-win game

I'm a Steam fan. It's one of the first things I open when I boot up my computer and I would estimate that I get 90% of my games there. The biannual sales are holidays that I look forward to with the same childlike impatience that once accompanied the approach of Christmas.* One of the highlights, aside from cleaning up on all the games and DLC that I wasn't willing to pay full price for, has been the gimmicky "event" that accompanies the sale. Past events have included solving ARGs, incentives for playing the games on sale on a given day, and something akin to an achievement scavenger hunt (if memory serves). This year, it's a bit less satisfying.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

[Wildstar] GED: Ideas worth stealing

With the release hulbaloo surrounding Wildstar calming down I feel like I am at a point where I can discuss some of the elements I really appreciate. I decided to forgo a full review because there are plenty of well written ones out there. Plus there are some things I've not yet had the time to try out, such as adventures and instances, mainly due to my sporadic playtime that often requires sudden breaks. Still I have reached as high as level 28 and have gone through 3 of 4 starting zones.

GED posts are an idea I've stewed on for a long time. Poking fun at TED talks, I wanted to take a literary opportunity to brush away the rough of a game and look for the diamonds within because I think most games, successful or not, had a few good ideas in them. For example, I may have panned ESO back during its launch, but I think it too had some interesting ideas. However, that is a topic for another day. I'm starting with Wildstar, which after consuming 95% of my free time this week, has earned that distinction. A final note, just because I did not mention a certain mechanic or system here does not mean it is not also worth copying. If I mentioned every single thing I liked, we'd end up with the mother of all walls of text.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

[WoW] Solutions to 4 lockouts a week

In my last post I talked about the change to LFR and the removal of "Raid" items from its drop table. While personally I am slightly disappointed, I understand Blizzard's reasons for the change and it's one I can live with. Even if that means I'll grumble my way through some Flex raids to get my set. But for many raiders WoD will still mean running the same raids 3 times a week.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

[NBI] Why write? Why not?

When it comes to blogging everyone has their own story. In my case the story is surprisingly short. Like any gamer I spent a large amount of my non-gaming time thinking about them, and at some point I can't remember I was introduced to the WoW blogosphere from a link on WoWwiki. I ended up at Tobold's blog and from there I was hooked. I read many of the larger blogs of the time, many now sadly defunct like Letters from Birdfall and Big Red Kitty. Others power on, and while for a time I was content to be the occasional comment (usually arguing with Gevlon, I was quite active there around 2012), I eventually decided that I was less interested in reacting to their topics and wanted to talk about what was on my mind some of the time. Thus "Out of Beta" was born.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

[WoW] WoD LFR changes, it's Montague and Capulet all over again

This past week WatcherDev has released three blog posts explaining the history and forward vision of raiding. In the third entry he threw a bloody morsel into the pool of piranhas they call a playerbase. While we’ve known about the changes to raid structure for a while, this was the first confirmation of lockouts and rewards. Needless to say, feathers were ruffled, jimmies were rustled, and the WoW-ternet exploded.
The main point of disagreement as I saw it was the change to LFR rewards. As it stands, in Warlords of Draenor, the LFR raids will drop their own set of loot separate from the regular raids. In other words LFR will not drop the raid trinkets, rare pets, or class sets. Unsurprisingly, players for whom LFR is the primary form of endgame gear acquisition were not pleased. On the other side of the debate, players who felt forced to run LFR to complete set bonuses or get specific trinkets were overjoyed.

Both took to the interwebs to tell the other side about why they were having fun wrong, harsh words ensued. Each forgot that it’s actually possible for both sides to be “right” and both to have legitimate concerns because in the end we’re talking about subjective enjoyment of a game.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

[LoL] Some proposed tweaks to ARAM

Due to my dislike of the meta-game and communities in MOBAs I ended up stepping away from League of Legends for a long time. It took the introduction of ARAM (All-Random All middle) mode for me to enjoy them again. Randomized characters destroy the idea of a meta, and it brings the game back to focusing on having a character and fighting enemies rather than placing the importance on arcane jungling routes, last-hit numbers, and team composition.* It is by far my favorite mode because its very design helps reduce much of the stress of being in a typical MOBA game; players can't expect you to know every champion when you had no control over who you got and with the amount of chaos going on things like creep-score have diminished importance.

But for all its perks ARAM still has some points I find unduly frustrating that could deal with a little tweaking.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

[WoW] The Ladies of Draenor, or "Don't judge us just yet!"


Back at Blizzcon people were highly critical about how female characters would be treated in Warlads of Dudemore when its primary advertising had a solid 1:1 X-Y chromosome ratio. But wait, Blizzard assured us, there will be meaningful female characters, just wait and see! They made vague promises about a Draenei warrior named Yrel, but aside from a name we got precious little.

So we waited, and we hoped, and we speculated…

[WoD Spoilers ahead]