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Member since: 2007-11-18 13:45:43
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    Note: Spoilers Are abundant
    Note2: It has been a long time since i wrote anything for Distructoid so i apologize in advance for grammatical errors and other foolishness.

    So last night i decided to download the M.E2 DLC Overlord on a whim but largely for Achievement Points as i am trying to catch up to my brother who is about 5K points ahead of me.

    Now i am about 3 Quarters of the way into my second play through on Hardcore difficulty. I've completed all the loyalty missions except Legion who i have not recruited yet and I've upgraded just about every weapon and Shepard except for a few items left to buy in Illium. In short the game has nothing left to physically challenge me gameplay wise except for some cheap moments towards the end of the game.
    So i was not expecting a challenging experience from Overlord and sadly did not get one.

    Overlord has you traveling to a new system in order to investigate why a Cerberus operation which was studying Geth technologies and pioneering ways to fight or control them has suddenly gone dark.
    Frankly, Overlords plot screams Lawnmower Man so loudly i was wondering why Bioware Hasn't gotten sued by Warner Bros. (Lawnmower Man was originally by New Line Cinema but was bought by Warner Bros back in the 90s i think).
    Upon arriving you are introduced to Dr. Archer who explains that while he started the project with best intentions everything went to hell as soon as they plugged the human in.

    The plot doesn't get more complicated then that. This is a traditional Mass Effect 2 mission: you and the two characters you pick to roll through, will often meet Geth or Robotic resistance, while following a bread crump trail left by a Dr. Archer and the "Lawnmower Man" VI.

    What Overlord lacks in below average but slightly believable plot (The plot does make sense in terms of the mass effect universe) it makes up for it with rather interesting game play and some rather nice visuals.

    A nice addition to the DLC was the usage of the hammerhead. A hovercraft version of the Mako from M.E1. Up untill now i had never tried it having never downloaded the previous DLC which used it. Having an opportunity to use it was a real delight. The fact i died a few times due to a lack of indicators for health and very weak armor was not so delightful. Despite that the Hammerhead turned out to be a interesting experience and i especially loved jumping from rock to rock crossing rivers of lava.

    The DLC itself is divided up into Four bases that you'll visit (on-foot) which are connected by the hammerhead sections. Each base has unique layout and confrontation setup. The additional fact that fights will often occur when you least expect it and the addition to the breakneck pace that seems to stem from the DLC's overall ambiance verses an actual timer, keeps your head on a swivel, provoking some intensity or tension that otherwise wouldn't be there.

    Apart from some amazing visuals at times, the overall visual look doesn't appear all that different from previous side missions on other planets. The only real wow moment i found was when Shepard was sucked into the V.I realm at which point i screamed 'TOTALLY FUCKING WORTH IT'.

    I was also disappointed by the lack of any real reward for the DLC. i barely made about 70Creds or so by the time i completed the DLC in a few hours. It would have been nicer if there was some armor pieces or maybe a weapon or two. it wouldn't be hard and it would have given a lot more people a reason to pick up the DLC. Bioware could have slapped the Firepower pack in with an extra few lines of dialog and called it a day and i would have been happy as a clam. hell i would even be okay if you charged me an extra 100 MS points if it included the firepower pack or maybe the Aegis pack.

    i also would have liked some sort of obvious impact to the game. The DLC essentially felt like a VR-like mission -- a structured exercise in combat and procedure. Almost like a demo for M.E2 gameplay. The DLC adds nothing, as far as I can see, to the core narrative of "Mass Effect 2," to its characters, or to the person that is Commander Shepard. The DLC had me collect Cerberus data files on the Overlord project. It would be nice to see some sort of bonus because of the extra effort i put in, like say bonus damage against against the Geth or something.

    In the end "Overlord" has a blend of some really great ideas, cool visuals, and pacing akin to a action-suspense movie, but it doesn't add anything to the overall "Mass Effect 2" experience. Like most of the DLC that is out now its largely fluff material that hints at possibilities are that truly epic. Am i asking too much in that i want DLC that hits me on the same levels that the actual game does? Come on bioware, you've shown me that you can make a good game, how about some good DLC now.

    As most of you IRC Dtoiders know and maybe some of you non IRC regulars. I play world of Warcraft a lot. In fact chances are if you see me on Sexbox live and I am just idling or watching a movie. Itís because I am playing Warcraft and I am using the Sexboxís more trivial functionality for background noise.

    I play Alliance on the Earthen Ring server as a 73 Warrior Night Elf Tank. Surprisingly enough I am one of the few people who did not immediately respect a bunch of my points into threatwave err Shockwave as soon as it came out. I like the ability, Iíve seen it in action and have used it a few times but I much prefer having my talent points in fury and arms for extra oomph to my attacks then sacrificing it just for a nice extra threat builder. Between Cleave, Thunderclap and all my regular abilities I really have no issue holding my own as a tank unless the other party members (looks at the death knights) decide they want to tank.
    I know most of that last paragraph was pretty trivial and information you didnít need to know but I get an amazingly high amount of crap over this from my guild mates. All of which do not have level 70+ Protection Warriors surprisingly enough but are apparently still experts on my class.
    With the release of Wrath of the Lich King Players were given a new continent to level in called Northrend. Depending on where Alliance players left on the boat to Northrend. Either Menethil Harbor or Stormwind, you either ended up in Howling Fjord or Borean Tundra. Last night I was in Howling Fjord when my guild mates decided to go on a run through Utgarde Keep.

    Hauling ass from Ironforge to Utgarde Keep in a race with my guild mates to be the first one there only took me a few minutes and by the time I was there I was positively giddy with excitement. New instances are always a fun experience for me because it always gives me new situations to test myself against and try new things. This time was of course no exception because I was sharing a party with a 71 Blood Knight and a 71 Shaman. Having leveled a death knight to 71 myself I wasnít all that concerned with partying with them but the Shaman gave me pause. The last time I partied in an instance with a shaman I spent the entire time fighting with them to hold hate. The previous shaman had been a hardcore raider and had the equipment to match. At the time I had partially completed karazhan gear.
    This time around I had completed karazhan gear and the shaman had slightly good quality blacksmithing gear. He did not steal hate from me this time. Points for me, yay!!

    Our 5th member who wasnít part of our guild was a healer named Healmachine. If youíre anything like me, you immediately cringed as soon as you saw his name. I know I did; within about 30 seconds of him joining the party we had his armory profile up and we were going over it in guild chat. About 10 seconds into talking about it we started seriously considering kicking him out of the group and looking for another healer that would not be nearly as much suck. After a few minutes of trying to decide what to do (roughly the time it took for everyone to get to the actual instance) we decided to keep him and go with it and replace him if we wiped because he wasnít holding his own.

    Tank Like a Girl [dot] com describes Utgarde Keep as a ďlevel 70-72 instance located in Howling Fjord. Itís low in difficulty, very linear, and easy to clear. Inside you will find three boss encounters, with three quests for the Horde and two quests for Alliance players.Ē
    I could not summon it up any other way. With Cym our Blood Knight off tanking the adds we blasted through everything in no time. The best fights were of course against the Proto-Drakes which were so awesomely cool to look at. Iíve put some renewed interest in completing the seasonal events in order to get me a proto-drake because of this fight : )

    A few thoughts and notes I made about the bosses for people who have not gone through the fight yet and are looking forward to it.

    Prince Keleseth:
    Stupid mage caster, I tried to drag him onto the map to tank him there out of a homage to some 80s action movie I saw once that I can not for the life of me remember but he refused to go up there. Heís a pain in the ass because his spells can not be reflected or interrupted. He however is a mage and has a weakness to sharp pointy objects. A couple of further notes I made was that during the fight Keleseth summons skeleton minions to fight on his side. These guys come in from the door you entered sort of so its best to have the healers on the opposite side of the room so that he does not get aggro. Thunderclap works well to get skeletons fighting you. Keleseth also likes to cast Icy tomb which incases a player in ice. I found a shield slam and devastate to be more then enough to free another player who is next to me and it keeps me in my normal routine of ability usage. Apart from that he is a normal tank and spank.

    Dalronn & Skarvald
    This fight is so easy; I really donít understand why people have such an issue. Skarvald is the melee giant while Dalronn is the Mage. Here is the strategy we went through. Kill Skarvald as fast as you can while saving interrupt abilities for Dalronn when you can (it helps to have party target that shows casting bar up for Fubar and Shield Bash on a mouse over macro). As soon as Skarvald is dead and his spirit appears to whup some ass. Tank Spirit-Skarvald with taunts and proceeded to beat the snot out of Dalronn. Fight should last all of 5 minutes at the most. As soon as both have died the fight is over.

    Ingvar the Plunderer
    This only fight that is actually challenging in so much as the tank has to dodge left and right to avoid his Smash attack. Get his hp down past zero and he dies and is then resurrected as a giant zombie. More hit points more damage greatÖ. The same rules apply as before though. Dodge his Smash attack, which is now called Dark Smash (how original) and hope that Woe Strike doesnít wipe your party (like it did mine the first time we fought him). Apparently a mage is useful for this fight to decurse party members so they take less damage. I will have to try again with a mage to test that out.

    Overall the instance was a lot of fun and almost stupidly fast. A nice primer for further into Northrend unlike Outlands which gave us Hellfire Ramparts which was 40 minutes and then everything after that was hour and a half.
    The loot for Utgarde Keep is terrible for anyone that isnt a mage or mage class. We had one decent item drop that was not mage oriented, a nice Main hand fist weapon that our parties shaman picked up. The only good tanking item from the instance was a neck piece from a quest that involved the first part of the instance. A good neckpiece for Death Knight tanks because it ups defense rating and parry. Not so good for Warrior Tanks who focus more on defense rating and dodge/shield block so I kept my Karazhan neckpiece over it.

    Congrats Magdra on your new weapon. Arm Blade of Augelmir

    If anyone would like to add a note for the above strategies I put forth, please feel free to place a comment with a suggestion. (Please keep your flame comments to yourself)

    For those of you who don't know. Where the hell have you been for the last few years. Hitogoroshi is the Jesus Christ All Star of the online dtoid IRC community.
    I say this of course because i honestly think so and because the man is going to pick me up at the airport in less then a month and i don't want to get stranded in a city and region i have no clue about.

    Recently Hito has run into some hard luck, so i thought i would write a cblog in honor of him and his contributions to my life and to other peoples lives.

    Plus i found this great picture on Little Gamers today and thought of him

    Thank You Hito, i want you to know that today...
    Today i appreciate you

    Hitogoroshi's recent C-blog about gaming setups (I am of course referring to this one got me thinking about revamping/updating my own and sharing it with everyone. Plus i haven't C-blogged about anything in awhile and i thought this might be a good chance to get back into the swing of things. Until my next hiatus at least.

    Since obviously i am at work, i guess i will start off with my Work Gaming Setup.

    I work as the sole Network Technician/Network Admin for a company of about 700 employees, 100 of which work in the offices. Because of this i get a rather large degree of room when it comes to usage of company resources in off hours.
    Chances are, if you playing Video games with me on a weekend. It's here.

    Okay, First up.
    On my desk, i have three computers.

    The first one is a Dell M1710 XPS - Marathon, thats hooked into a monitor/keyboard package with a docking station.
    Windows XP Pro
    Intel Dual Core 2.0Ghz(X2)
    4 GB Ram DDR
    120 GB HD
    Geforce Go 7900 GS

    Games - I've got Wow and Steam installed, i do not play TF2 but i do play Half Life 2, Portal and Source games.

    The Second and Third are Dell Vostro 200s, one of them is a presentation computer that isnt working right and I'm in the process of using as a Linux box. The third (far right) is going out to one of our rigs in the next few weeks.
    (vostros are great all purpose economic computers for office work.)
    Windows XP Pro (Linux dual boot on 1 of them, Ubuntu Distro.)
    Intel Dual Core 2.2Ghz(X2)
    2 GB Ram DDR
    80 GB HD
    Geforce something, Dual DVI out on both cards

    Next up we have the companies Lecture/Training Room. Roughly 45 Feet X 40 Feet. I borrow it on weekends for mass Lan parties and crazy hijinks.

    The projector shown is a Dell 2400MP and supports up to 1080i. We have a Small business license with Dell so all of our equipment is through them.
    - On weekends, i drop the screen closer to the floor so i don't put a kink in any necks, hook up the sexbox to the media center and rock out with friends.

    Media Center

    A couple 19inch lcd monitors, some speakers, and we can lan-party like crazy.

    Next Up is the Company Server Room.

    3+TB of storage over 5 servers plus a pretty decent network and pretty ok internet speeds = lots and lots of dedicated server hosting and movie torrenting. Yay

    Gamerscore, whether you love the concept or not, has become one of the most popular features about Xbox Live since its inception. Points are awarded for the completion of game-specific challenges, such as beating a level or amassing a specified number of wins against other players in Xbox Live matches. The gamerscore and achievement system has become a defacto way of proving just how badass a player you really are.

    Last night my gamerscore hit 9045 after i completed the first disc of Lost Odyssey and i wanted to share with you guys my joy at hitting this personal milestone by posting up a little bit of internet fun and nostalgia.

    A few images to bring even more nostalgia

    Here is to everyone having a great day and all those fellow sexbox users out there hitting their own personal milestones.

    This game keeps looking better and better and just seems to ooze awesomeness out of every poor.
    Most definitely looking forward to this game.

    Thanks goes to Sexbox 360 Fanboy and for hosting.

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