On Choice Based Gameplay and WoW Updates

  • Posted on: February 10, 2010
  • By: Keiya
  • Category:

Ah sorry, real life and uuuh not so real life cuts into my precious WoW time. Twitch. In between games at time moment. So I finished both Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2, which is a great game by the way. Not perfect, but among games that offer decision tree based dialogue, BioWare does a pretty decent job especially compared to say, BioShock for example and how your decisions influenced the game (I'll be good and not spoil it despite the fact that it's pretty old by now...).

I mean, ultimately there are only a handful of ways that any decision based game can end no matter what you choose but everyone's Mass Effect play through is a different experience depending on what dialogue options they picked and who they partied with. It's fun seeing what path other people chose. This sort of gameplay is closer to what PC based role-playing should be, to me at least. I wonder if Blizzard would ever add anything similar to WoW at some point in the future. Actually, I am not really sure how that would even work in a massively multiplayer environment...

So long story short, I and am more-or-less putzing around until Final Fantasy XIII comes out in early March. I think I'll hold off on buying anything new and finish something from my stack of old unfinished games. Probably going to actually cyle back into a period of heavier WoW playing if the servers manage to let me in. Proudmoore has been awful since patch 3.3.2.

We have tanking alternatives now so I have been gleefully DPSing as of late. Consequently, my Protection set has atrophied a little bit to the point where it is marginally acceptable for the new content. But here's the problem: I don't really have time anymore to farm for multiple sets of gear and since I'm not tanking primary spec (and don't tank much anymore), I don't typically roll on tanking pieces unless they get greeded out.

Being hit by a mild case of altism again. I would love to work on my hunter again if I have time (barely have enough time to work on my paladin. Long commute FTL). Or, I could just leave him as a glorified transmute/smelt/mining bot and finish off the Loremaster achievement on my paladin before the expansion hits. So close but so little motivation to quest more!

Oh, I got a new gaming mouse a few weeks ago. I'll make a hardware post about it at some point. It has more buttons. More buttons mean that I can bind even more random macros. Oh, I am open to post suggestions by the way. I have been in the mood to update more but have hit a post idea dry spell.

Review: Dragon Age

  • Posted on: January 25, 2010
  • By: Keiya
  • Category:

Dragon Age is probably the most captivating game that I have played in recently memory. I logged well over 50 hours into the first campaign and have started up a second campaign as a different race and class, which I guess, is pretty rare for me since honestly, most RPGs hold very little replay value for me. TL;DR for the rest of this article: Dragon Age is a fantastic game if you are in any way into fantasy games buy now.

Depending on what race and class combination you choose at the beginning of the game, your character is given one of six origin stories to start with. Each origin story is more than just a background intro; It helps to weave a tale of political intrigue and integrates into the main plot line of the game, probably more-so than most other choice based RPGs. A human noble for example, would be addressed differently than an elf would. It adds an subtle flavor as well as perspective to the story line.

CES 2010: Electronics Porn!

  • Posted on: January 19, 2010
  • By: Keiya
  • Category:

Late posting for the lose. I guess CES is little more than an afterthought at this point given that I am posting this way after the con had ended. Anyway, I had the pleasure of attending the Consumer Electronic Show this year with someone special (<3 2-man raid FTW). For those who don't know what CES is: it is a trade show held annually in early January, showcasing the latest and greatest in the world of gadgets, electronics and doodads.

So the show: Being a first timer, I can't really draw a comparison to last year's CES. It's my understanding that the recession has obviously hit the electronics industry. There was a lot on display, but not too many big announcements or anything that reallywow'd me in terms of being innovative or new tech. Of the popular 'themes,' 3D home theater technology was obviously the big thing this year; Nearly every major booth had some sort of 3D television or device on display.

All but the lenticular 3D television display (missed this one sadly) utilized wireless polarized glasses with active shutter technology to produce the 3D effect. They are kind of like the movie theater glasses, but chunkier and more expensive. The televisions themselves need to be 3D capable in order to work, though speculation is that at some point, this feature will be integrated into the new televisions whether you want it or not.

I honestly don't see it being integrated into home television viewing life any time soon. The 3D effect itself is pretty neat, especially on movies and videos designed to maximize the effect (like Avatar). It's still an expensive gimmick though. The equipment is expensive, the glasses are kind of uncomfortable and dumb looking, and there aren't many videos designed for it yet. One of theTV's was very angle sensitive. The effect didn't seem to work well at all unless we were standing dead center.

I was very impressed with what Nvidia had to offer in terms of 3D for games. I know that this has been on display at several cons, but I've just sort of brushed over it before. It is still a glasses based system that requires a special monitor (well, 120hz refresh rate); and it's still expensive, but it's usable on the current generation of video cards and looks fantastic in my opinion. I think that this system has a lot of potential in the future but it's still too expensive and too taxing on most systems (huge FPS hit when the 3d effect is on according to several benchmarks).

We spent quite a bit of time at Microsoft's booth playing with the Surface and enjoying the cushy carpet on our weary feet (seriously, it was soft). The 4-player touch tower defense game was one of the things that instantly drew me. Multi-touch in general was on display in multiple booths. I think I have a video somewhere of Intel's cube thing.

The LEGO MMO looked much much better than I really had ever expected it to be for whatever it is worth coming from a dedicated WoW veteran. I have looked into it further since the con and have only heard and seen good things. I am pretty jaded on newMMO releases at this point but I might keep track of this one because it looks interesting. Oh, the bit about being able to build things in game and then order the model in actual LEGO bricks is pure win.

D-Link had a router that also served as a digital picture frame and NAS drive dock. I am not sure why this sort of device isn't more common. Networking equipment is butt ugly and a pain in the ass to keep out of sight or hide unless you are particularly clever about strapping things to the underside of your desk. So why not make them attractive looking of functional in some visual sort of way? D-Link offers this solution.

Overall, CES was great. I attended mostly for vacation purposes. Consequently, I missed quite a few things that I kind of wanted to see and unfortunately didn't bother taking too many notes. I think next year I am going to see if I can get a press pass and perhaps uuh have an itinerary of some sorts. It's such a huge con, so much to see. I took quite a few pictures, most being goofy/cute couples photos for my personal collection. I'll post of the a few on this site later.

Update: CES, Dragon Age & WoW

  • Posted on: January 15, 2010
  • By: Keiya
  • Category:

Hey everyone Blizzard updated the WoW Armory. Neat! Err, been generally absentish over the past week (or so...) doing holiday stuff and preparing for/attending CES over in Las Vegas. I'll do a quick post later this week if I have time. It was lots of fun; the company I kept was the best part (you know who you are <3).

Oh Dragon Age is fun by the way. My obsessive need to play every quest to completion is actually the other reason why I have been "absentish" and not on WoW as much as I usually am. I should post a belated review when I complete it. I think I am almost towards the end. It's a pretty long game.

So I've had to send in a couple of tickets the past two weeks. We totally bugged out the Skybreaker encounter two weeks ago. Noobness happened which resulting in a successful kill with only the people in the cannons up; The loot master not being one of those two people. So consequently, the chest wasn't lootable. Oh, we also got the [I'm on a Boat] achievement despite not really earning it...lol? Kudos to Blizzard for resolving that issue even though it took forever. Protip: don't email support during a holiday weekend.

The other support ticket: Long story short, one of our officers got hacked last week. The hacker cleaned out not only all of his characters, but the entire guild bank as well (time to review bank access policies for the sake of security). Blizzard did a complete restore, but since I am the guild master, I now have the entire contents of our guild bank in my mailbox. Is this what I get for putting off sorting the bank for the past year or two?

Merry Christmas! (Random Update)

  • Posted on: December 24, 2009
  • By: Keiya
  • Category:

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 first  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.