Sterling Lyons, better known in some circles as "Aiayla", is an avid videogame player of all genres. From Genesis, to Playstation, to PC, Aiayla does it all. League of Legends, and other PC and MMO games remain the current focus of not just time, but also contribution to Destructoid.
APB: Reloaded is now in the third week of closed beta testing. Along that way, the fine folks on the dev team have been consistently updating the public APB:Reloaded Developer Blog(as well as Facebook and Twitter) to keep people interested in the know with what's going on.
The big announcement for the past week is that the Closed Beta Build 3 has been released. It comes with some user interface changes/fixes and some balancing to a couple of cars and some of the weapons(including making the enforcer's less than lethal ammunition affordable). Aside from the small stuff, comes with that build another fix for a problem that's been plaguing the game since the closed beta began. A bug that essentially crippled the framerate of the server, and the client, resulting in frequent stuttering to the user.
And someone else who is obviously not me throwing my voice to sound like someone else is talking to me suddenly yells out: "Why, Aiayla, surely you cannont be within the realm of the NDA if you talk about a bug like that, now can you!?"
Well, this bug has already been made aware to the public through the dev blog, and it's actually rather funny what the bug actually is. Unlike the original APB, the death camera has been changed to point in the direction of the person what killed you(like any good shooter should) so you have a better idea of why you died. This new camera, unfortunately, caused the server to lag for a moment while it's running the "look at killer" camera functions.
Or as they put it in the blog: "...one could say the server is sad for the loss, and will take a brief 100ms moment of silence :).". Talk about a ghost in the machine, hehe. =3
In other news, people complained about the free accounts being too limited with the clothing/car/ect. creation and customization system. Of course, GamersFirst has been releasing images across the facebook and their forum to alleviate those concerns.
And to cover my fragile little butt, these images below belong not to me, nor were they made by me, nor were any of their contents, and as of the time of this posting, are totally not related to APB in it's Reloaded and/or "Closed Beta" state. All names are in reference to the APB forums.
Last week I wrote about the new APB:Reloaded beta starting up. Well, it's one week later, and they let 10,000 people in with the first wave. First concession was letting in players what had participated somehow with the original APB. I know for a fact this allowed atleast one Dtoider into the beta, though no names shall be said... there was an NDA after all. 0=3
Ish a new trailer.
Of course, there's a lot of information still to spill that has nothing to do with the NDA, as GamersFirst has been dropping info through the week. Earlier today/yesterday(depending on what your time zone is) they updated their blog with a post detailing the current state of the closed beta. In a nutshell, a gun is way OP, so it's gonna get nerfed, and server and connection issues persist, so that's their next immediate focus. Oh, and they wanna invite more people in throughout the week.
Throughout the week last week(probably corresponding with GDC), they also released a series of videos showing off the changes to the handling of the vehicles. It's nice to see that they're trying to give each vehicle their own "role" or "place". Of note, is the super cute little two door coupe that they made the new starter vehicle. The original starter car in the original game was a bar of soap on the road. The new car handles amazingly, though it's slow at it's max speed, and it blows up rather quickly.
The new starter car.
On the other side of the spectrum, is the Dump Truck of doom. I'd say more, but I'll let the video speak for itself:
So all in all, the folks at GamersFirst sound like the know what they're doing, and are listening to the feedback of their beta testers. Whether they actually get it all done though, is something I can't say right now, but I'm certainly hopeful right now.
This past sunday, members of the APB: Reloaded team made an update post on the APB: Reloaded Developers Blog detailing the first release candidate for the new game, which would be the Closed Beta candidate as well.
For those who haven't been following along, APB is getting relaunched with a Free To Play model. The new dev team behind this have been updating a blog weekly over the past few months. I urge you to go over and read back as they detail some really interesting faults they had with the previous release, and hopes and changes for the current iteration and the future.
The Closed Beta will have three waves based on all the people that have currently applied: US West, Europe, and then US East(damnit, I wanted to be first D=), following after with some other areas like Brazil. They also listed some of the current demographic data for their beta applicants( 3% representing =P ). It was interesting to see the local spread of applicants, with Europe making up the majority of the applicants.
I don't want to steal all their thunder though(and the release notes are too long for here... really), and urge you to go here and see the list of changes. Basic rundown though: skill are skills now as opposed to one time one use items, weapons favor bursting, and cars are generally faster. Oh, and that shit starter car is removed and replaced with a cute lil coupe with decent stats and a low max speed.
I think releasing APB as F2P alone is worth it for the game(I don't feel the game was worth the subscription price they had at the time). All the extra changes are just icing on an already worthwhile cake.
I had the random urge earlier today to pop in my copy of MGS4, what came with a free version of MGO on the same disk when I bought it, and play a little bit of MGO. Much to my surprise... the game told me that I needed to download an update ._.
I thought at first that maybe I accidentally deleted the update data when I was cleaning up my HDD, and ya know... deleting things to free up space. When I hit the details though, it said that it was a new version... released recently even.
>> Revision Points ・The issue, where the game's connection would progressively suffer if the network connection was determined to be disconnected illegitimately at the start of the game, has been revised. ・Revisions have been made so the following behaviors are no longer possible: * Performing of a particular action to throw an invisible grenade into the opponent's screen to disrupt gameplay for other players * Performing of a particular action to throw a grenade into only the opponent's screen to disrupt gameplay for other players ・A portion of the system has been adjusted to address the following action: * Prohibited actions that involve the manipulation of a network connection >> Specification Changes ・Drebin Points for weapons have been adjusted. ・Weapon paramaters have been adjusted. ・Skill paramaters have been adjusted. ・Skills for Unique Characters have been adjusted. ・Player Character movement has been increased overall. ・Idle Kicks have been implemented for Auto Matching.
Now, I haven't actually played enough to see what was changed first hand in it's entirety, but I haven't experienced the dreaded invisible smoke nades yet, so that's a plus. ^^b
The also seemed faster too. First I didn't realize that I didn't have my runner skill on, yet I felt like I had it on. Also... I kept dying cause people got to places and shot me in the head right as I got there. The Mk. 4 Assault Rifle has gotten a price drop so it now costs as much as the M4. Variety, GET!!
I heard after scouring the innertubes some that the Slug ammo(the ones that let shotguns get headshots) no longer costs anything to select, and that Solid Snake's skill set now includes the amazing "Box Move 3" which allows him to ram people with his box. Makes sense considering he's the man that pioneered Box Running. I can't wait to see these new changes in action.
Here's a neat MGO montage video to break up the wall of text. =3
SPECULATION TIEM!!! =O
The thing that still puzzles me though is why Konami would update an old, mostly forgotten about game like MGO. Well, as it turns out, the Japanese version of Metal Gear Online is still heavily popular, and frequently played. That sounds like the most logical reason, if it weren't for the fact that there were still no major updates since back in 2009 ._.
I'm starting to think though that this might be a sign of a lead in to the next tie in, with whatever they have planned for Metal Gear Rising. For those that are unaware, or misinformed, Metal Gear Online has always, technically, been a stand alone game from Metal Gear Solid 4(yes, that picture I showed you at the beginning of this post is a real thing, not a mockup). This is most apparent in Japan where the game was not only in Arcades with it's own arcade unit, but was also a separate boxed product as well.
This leads me to believe that instead of getting a whole new online component with Metal Gear Rising, the MGO we know(this one, MGO2) will instead receive a new update that changes around a lot of things to incorporate some new things from Rising. Of course, this is all speculation, and it's possible that they might only release a new expansion with some new characters and maps from the new game. One can only hope to hear more at E3, TGS, or one of the other big game show conventions this year, right? X3
Ah yes, it's one of those rare times that I've decided to post something. You know what that means: something new happened with Metal Gear Online. Actually, that something happened about a week ago with last week's maintenance period, but I was lazy that week.
Konami Hates Abortion
If you've played Metal Gear Online in the past few months(or, more importantly, looked at the stats page) you may have noticed that there is a withdraw rating stat that monitors how ofter you abort from matches.
Well, as of last tuesday, that stat actually accounts for something as Konami has implemented penalties to having too high a rating(and continuing to abort). Now after your rating rises to a certain point, you'll start to lose experience points(towards levels, not skills) in all modes and grade points if its survivial or tournament. There is also 10 and 30 minute bans from joining any new games depending on how severe your rating is. This week they also added new functionality that would allow you to keep your level when you create new characters. You can read all the details at the Metal Gear Online Official Site.
Pretty sweet, somewhat old, Nu Combo video
I actually found this video about a day after it was posted. Having watched it made me feel that my Nu handling skills were completely inferior and that I should just quit trying(I didn't). Most of the combos in that video aren't exactly practical for a real match due to them requireing one or two rapid cancels(or rather, 100% of the heat guage). Still, it's impressive to watch. BlazBlue has been talked about to death, so I'm going to just say that next time you're juggled helplessly by a skilled Nu's sword summoning, take some time to admire her graceful movements.
Monster Hunter Freedom United GET!!!
Yeah, I finally traded up to MHF Unite. It's awesome(save the same crappy camera controls of the PSP). It's really getting me more hyped for Monster Hunter Tri on the Wii which should be the greatest improvement evar. Umm...yeah now a video:
Yeah, this section is just an excuse to post this video of epic dodging skills, yo!!
GaiaOnline? An MMORPG!? ZOMG!!!
Recently, while browsing Destructoid I've noticed advertizements for GaiaOnline, a web forum with customizable avatars I use to frequent a few years back before it made me fear forums of all kinds with it's intense trauma.
Names blurred to protect real and virtual identities
Well, maybe it was GameFAQ's that had more to do with my forum trauma. ANYHOW...yeah, one of the Gaia ads caught my attention, this one being for something call zOMG. So after cheking it out, and logging into my old accounts(im surprised they kept them for the 5-some odd years since I quit), turned out that zOMG is the RPG/Combat system that they promised the user base back then. It's currently in an open beta phase, with only the first chapter pein completed. I'll write a more in depth analysis/review later, but if you want to check it out, just look for one of those adds on this site or just go to GaiaOnline.com. Here are some quick points to tide you over though:
-The game has a nice sense of humor. Example: the taunt skill involves flicking off the target enemy and yelling obsceneties at it.
-The graphics are pretty good for a browser based MMORPG. The animation of your own avatars aren't all that great, but the enemies look good.
-It's free to play, though there are some items in the shop that you have to pay real cash to get, though nothing in the shop is really necessary to enjoyment or completion of the game.
-Attacks/Skills and stats tied to in-game rings, so you could totally own, even if you're still wearing those peasants clothes.
-Oh, yeah, btw, there is an attack that lets you summon sharks to attack your enemies:
Picture of summoning shark to attack evil living buzzsaws. Awesome, no?
[Authors Note: Spoiler warning for the story of Metal Gear Solid 4
Hello there. As I reported earlier, Old...er...I mean...Solid Snake , has taken a venture into the other modes that Metal Gear Online has to offer. Now, here to tell you about his first time leading a team in a round of team deathmatch is none other than...
Old-uh, I mean-Solid Snake!!!!!
Hmm, thank-you...uh...Palidi was it? Uh, but the name in the picture...uh-huh. Ok then...
Anyhow, I've been doing a lot of things for my life. Killed a lot of people. Chased a man across the world and back. I've had a lot of experience with this kind of thing. Then after all is said and done, Kojima comes up to me and demands that I help him entertain those people that buy his games and what not. Ugh, I don't think I've known what it's like to NOT use and M4 since then. It's a nice gun, sure, but I've been able to get my hands on much superior weapons in my day. Makes me glad that I was able to get hold of some different equipment when I was for-err, uh-participated in this...whaddaya call 'em...Team Deathmatch. I decided to start off by taking something drastically different from the M4 I've become sick of. A shotgun.
Snake has acess to all the weapons your average soldier would in the other modes.
I was honestly a little pissed when Kojima told me that he was tak-er-I wouldn't have acess to the Solid Eye. I'm glad he let me keep my Octocam though. He wouldn't let me keep the face mask either, but I manage to sneak those in myself. He also made me promise him that I wouldn't try anything funny like holding people up or trying to use my senses as it might be too unfair to the rest of the participants. It almost make me want ta stay back with my lousy M4...
Snake lacks his Solid Eye, the threat ring, doesn't start with a barrel on hand, and lacks the ability to hold up people. He does have his face camo(which starts unequipped) and octocamo, though there is no indicator in the HUD about how camoflauged he is. He also has a scanning plug.
Oh, yeah. I was a little nervous at first when I was told I was going to be part of a large team. I've worked alone since I was inducted into Foxhound way back when. Oh, how war has changed since then. This, what is it, Sons of the Patriots thing. I could link up to my team mates and see where they were on the field at all times. I could even see the enemy at times too. Why, if I hadn't needed to chase down Liquid and stop the Patriots, I might have found such a thing useful back then.
Oh, that's right. Liquid was there. I was suprised, I thought for sure I killed him back on the top of Arsenal. Eh, but one of my...teammates? Yeah, one of them was able to get a nade on under him and toss him up quite a bit though, heh heh. He ran for it for sure, but I wouldn't let him get away this time.
You're pretty good! *hand gesture*
Heh heh, guess even he can't stand up to a point blank shotgun blast. Brugh..ugh..LIIIIIIQUIIIID!!!!!! Huh, uh, what...oh, right, my story. Well it all started-huh, not that one? Oh, yeah, I remember now. So then I decided to find a nice spot to ambush the other team as they tried to take our side.
Yeah, so I found a nice spot. My octocamo really helped me blend in too. Some teammates showed up to help too, hiding a bit further back so I could hit their rear as they passed by and were kept busy by my team. It worked well for a while, but I've never really been the type that knew how to talk in a formalized team.
Snake's codec phrases are the exact same as in Sneaking mode.
I tried yelling "get back", and "take cover". But, meh, these young kids and their new fangled what ever the hell. Didn't want to listen to an old fart like me. They ran on ahead and got themselves slaughtered. I was bearly able to retreat back to the base to pick up a weapon better suited to multiple pursuers.
Here's snake picking up his trusty...AK?
Yeah, that's right. I took an AK102. Yeah, there was an M4 there. FUCK THAT NOISE THOUGH. I'm so sick of the M4. And I wasn't about to let the other team take us without a good fight. So I ran out with my AK, shootin and shootin, teammates behind me, pushing on ahead. And then I jumped down to the tunnel entrance, and there was one guy just coming out. And I shoot and shoot. It was combat high at it's best.
Err...I told you to get rid of that picture. What? No they don't! Grumble, grumble... Well...he got me... but I didn't go down alone.
Here he is on the floor too. My team found victory very shortly after that. It was...it was certainly a rush. War has changed from what I once knew. Now people light up in colors, run around with afros and make toilet jokes about how the fallen are "a lot of weight". Hmph...maybe I'll get more accustomed to it if I get some of the people I know into it. Like maybe Raiden, or...huh? What's that? Raiden's been doing this for a while? Mei Ling...Meryl too!? Johnny-wait, who was he again?
Uh...so yeah. That was my first time with this...Team Deathmatch? Team Deathmatch. I'd like to thank Palidi for taking pictures for the ole' scrap book I've started keeping since I learned I wasn't going to become a walking biological weapon.
It's meeeee!! *^.^*
Yep, that's...Demo...Girl? Wait...I thought your name was...uh-huh. Uhh...whatever, I'm going to take a nap. Taking that photo with me too. Damn youngkidsandtheirdamnrandomexplosions...