Merry Christmas! (Random Update)


I’m having a lot of fun doing the new content. We got Marrowgar, Lady Deathwhisper and the Airship down last Friday, which was nice after kind of a slow raid the week before. Improvement is nice! Deathbringer might have gone down if my internet hadn’t decided to take a huge dump on me. We are still well within the awkward attendance threshold though in that there is an interest in getting back to into guild only 25-man raids, but not enough people (the semi-PuGs just aren’t the same. Fuck random people).

I keep meaning to run the new 5-mans (hilt hilt hilt hilt) and the daily random more regularly, but a longish commute during rush hour sort of kills a significant portion of my play time. I got a few more tanking upgrades though during last week’s raid and from badges, etc. I really need to work on improving that gear and macro set (awesome guild member posted a bunch of really good ones on the forum a while ago, must find). My raid time is actually pretty evenly split between tanking and DPSing at the moment, with perhaps a slight bias towards DPSing.

Other games that I have been playing: Modern Warfare 2 was fun. I am not really certain has to how much value I received for my $50 given that the single player campaign is short and the multiplayer is gimped to hell. Like the firstĀ  game, MW2 retains the same fast pacing and excellent narrative. But at the same time, there are many instances where the game feels distinctly on rails with whack-a-mole-esque gameplay and obviously triggered scenes. Lots of fun either way. I wish there was a co-op option for the entire campaign rather than select missions. More games need co-op.

But anyway, since it is unlikely that I will squeeze out another post before the end of the year: I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Belated Review: Borderlands

Wow this game is serious gun porn. Just an incredible amount of weapons; And it’s not just the quantity, but the presence as well, seeing how they drop like candy out of a pinata. Expect constant weapon swapping! Weapons are divided into basic classes: Sniper Rifles, Shotguns, Machine Guns, Rocket Launchers and so forth. 200,000+ guns sounds very impressive within the context of a first person shooter, where 20 weapons would be considered a lot. But, within the context of a role-playing game? Not so much. In reality, most of the guns are your standard randomly generated RPG varietyala Diablo II or WoW (they even follow the same color system: white < green < blue < purple < orange :P). Most of your drops are going to end up being vendor trash.

But, that’s not to say that each weapon is drab or similar feeling. Weapons are differentiated between each other by variances in damage, firing rate, reload speed, elemental attributes, etc. While minor statistical differences might not seem like it would matter much, would would be surprised at how differently some of the weapons play. For example, a pistol with a large clip, low damage and high reload speed plays very differently than a slow pistol with high damage and a large clip. It is very much about finding a weapon that suits your play style and situation. Besides, all bets are off when you have a sniper rifle that sets targets on fire.

Gameplay wise, it is at heart a straight up shooter. Critical damage is determined by hit location. Circle, strafe, circle, strafe etc. The RPG elements are very similar to any other FPS/RPG blend: experience based leveling and talent trees. There are basic classes to choose from each with a distinctplaystyle , weapons specialization and special ability. Mordecai the hunter for example, is adept at Sniper Rifles and Revolvers. If you though for example, prefer to play him with machine guns, you can do so effectively. It just won’t be optimal.

The graphics are cell shaded, which is interesting given how late in the game this change was announced. Cell shading worries a lot of people for some reason; I think people were afraid that the game would go Wind Waker on everyone. Fear not though; the graphical changes in Borderlands give it a unique feel, as opposed to the standard shades of brown pseudo-realism going around in nearly every other first person game. ThinkTF2 (cell shaded, tongue in cheek design, stylism) + Fallout 3 (general setting).

Cons: Some elements of this game are a bit finicky; Bullet collision through certain objects for example, feels off to me. Most weapons are balanced well except for the rocket launchers, which do surprisingly underwhelming amount damage in comparison to similar weapons in other games. The AI could also use some work. Most anything, even many bosses can be line-of-sighted and kited around for a not-too-challenging kill. The mobs very easily get stuck inpathing loops or run into collision problems.

The quests themselves leave a lot to be desired and rarely, if ever, step out of the “kill x and bring y to z” flavor. Until you hit a certain point in the game, expect massive traveling and fetching. If I haven’t already mentioned the plot. Yeah. The plot…But, most of the above a nitpicks. If you are looking for a fun way to feed your obsessive compulsive urge to collect shit, Borderlands is worth a play.

I’m Still Here & Patch 3.3


Okay, so I have a half-assed Borderlands review rotting in my temporary post bin. Long story short, I started a new job a little while ago. So between that, the upcoming holidays and what not, much of what I was going to post on this site kind of got pushed to the back burner. Oh so I built my new computer a couple of weeks ago and zomg, I can raid 25-man instances again without locking up or dropping below five frames per second. Yay! The video card that I wanted (Radeon HD 5870 wasn’t in stock anywhere…I’ll have to order that later :/

PuGs: For the past month or so, my guild has been running regular Wednesday night 25-man PuG runs in Trial of the Crusader to some success. Every week we seem to get close on Anub, but fall a bit short in terms of DPS performance. After our first PuG run, we started holding the loot tokens, patterns and orbs for end loot (separate loot roll table from the other boss drops, which are rolled off after each kill). Doing so seems to have stopped the, “rotating door of PuG members who like the suspiciously perma-DC from the raid” problem for the most part.

3.3: My guild hosted a 25-man Icecrown Citadel semi-PuG raid tonight; Basically in place of TotC in the interest of doing the new content. We cleared trash, did a few attempts at the first boss and then called it a night (we end the raid at 10pm). Not so much luck on Marrowgar, but it’s fun learning new content. Thinking that we will probably have more luck bouncing strats off of one another in guild versus in a 25-man PuG. It’s nice getting input from fresh faces, but kind of a pain getting random ass people to organize in an instance that no one is familiar with. I haven’t had a chance to do any of the new 5-man instances or use the random LFG system. Tomorrow night maybe?

Stuff: I was one and a half achievements short of the thanksgiving title and pet. Totally got busy that weekend and forgot about it. Oh well, at least I have my shiny purple 310% proto-drake. This whole new long ass daily commute + time management thing: I’ll figure it out and start posting more.