Well guys, just throwing a little thing together for the MAG players even though our wonderful leader Elsa is out enjoying herself at PAX with her Hubby Mongoose (I canít blame her, if I was gay, Iíd be all over that lil curly headed Ken doll!) MAG will still be going strong tonight.
Anyway, Weíll start out in the Beta Tonight, which will be 7pm EST (4pm Pacific) for 2 hours of Domination & Acquisition. Then at 9PM EST (6pm Pacific) there will be a shift to the new game mode called Escalation. Finally at 11pm EST (8pm Pacific) we will switch back to the retail game, as this generally seems to be our nightly routine since the beta launch. So if you havenít already downloaded the beta, start now, itís 900+MB.
I talked to Y0j1mb0 and Iím posting this in addition to Jackofnotrades PS3FNF blog
to talk a bit about the beta. Well, gameplay wise, not much has changed, things do appear much more smooth graphically. To me, the game looks a little more crisp and clear in the beta than the retail as well. I canít tell any changes to the controls or anything like that. So if you were at all worried about drastic changes there, you can rest easy. The only real annoying changes in that aspect is some of the new animations while planting and some gun animations well...are nonexistent, the gun disappears! The changes do however come in with a few mechanics in the game, A new game mode, and an entire new skill point system.
Sometimes what you ask for, isnít what you really want, we asked for a more powerful and accurate knife, now the knife is the most powerful weapon in MAG Beta. Ridiculously overpowered if you take the proper skill points in the right places. You can basically sprint around infinitely knifing everyone, get shot finally, rinse and repeat and rack up impressive kill counts that way. This was supposedly Ďnerfedí in patch 1.2 but I think anyone else that plays MAG religiously will agree that the knife has barely been touched. I will admit though, I greatly enjoy getting a Grim Reaper Ribbon (35 kills in a game) using nothing but a knife.
With the skill system being revamped, things seem a little chaotic at first glance of the new skill trees. Some changes have been for the better, but for the most part, you feel like youíre wasting a lot of points on absolute garbage to get something you really need. There are some really nice features in the skill trees that Iím looking forward to playing with, but only getting 4 hours an evening to play, and not being able to play every night, Iím not sure Iíll get to test them all before this beta goes to the retail game. One example of the goods I wanna try is the vehicle tree, it gives you increased speeds while driving, and faster cooldowns on smoke/gun. Also another tree that I already play heavily in is the athleticism tree. Athleticism plus Close Quarters == Knife of DOOM!!!! Enough said. Iím going to abuse that over powered knife as long as zipper will let me. I usually donít get kill counts that high unless Iím doing some serious Jim Beam drinking.
In addition to the Skill Tree overhaul, they have also added the Supply Depot, where you now can purchase and sell weapons. Plans are being made (if it hasnít already been done) to remove level requirements for all weapons now. I havenít played much this week, unfortunately, so Iím unsure if anything was changed earlier in the week. The idea is great, but a lot of the money you gain towards weapons is based on your performance, and in the long run, Iím unsure how well this will work out for the MAG Noobie. It will take quite some time to gather enough cash to buy the good stuff from level 1.
Finally, Escalation, what can be said? Well, the maps are pretty. The mode is fun, and I do enjoy playing it, my problem with it is, you have all 3 PMCís (32v32v32) fighting for control points. Once a PMC captures 2 of the 3 available control points, those points become locked, and the PMC holding 2 control points, must now defend 1 central control point from both PMCís. Once the Control Point is captured, the original 3 control points unlock. Sound chaotic? You have no idea. It is fun though! The mechanics behind the mode itself were just dreamed up by someone on a fucking acid trip, because itís just total chaos, I say just stick 1 point in the middle, and let all 3 PMCís fight over it King of the Hill Style. Eliminate Points A,B & C. Hopefully some modifications and tweaking will be done but after the disappointment that was Interdiction, my hopes arenít very high for Zipper to pull this one off. It would probably make a much more enjoyable TDM style game than an objective based mode. The problem being, I fear Zipper is shifting away from the big theatrical and epic battle feel that MAG originally introduced, and trading in Massive Action Game for Modern Action Warfare.
Hope to see you guys tonight, and if you are out enjoying PAX this weekend...well, I hope you rot in hell!