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11:45 PM on 09.02.2009

Team Fortress 2: I Have No Items, and I Must Scream

So, valve has deleted all items obtained via idling.

There should have been some indication that this was wrong, but really what we got was the exact opposite. First with achievement servers, valve said nothing. apparently it was ok to obtain these achievements via other means. Then with idle servers, for 4 months, valve said nothing. Seemed to me that this was ok too.

It's not really the halos for people who were simple unaware of steamstats that annoys me, or the fact that I lost my 1 hat, it's the fact that most of us deleted lower level items in favor of higher ones. I personally have a grand total of 3 fucking items in my inventory now. All of the regular items I obtained legitimately by achievements, but they are all gone now.

There should be a button on each milestone, if you've unlocked the milestone you can click the button to spawn the item in your inventory at the base level.


This whole thing is moronic really. The system is broken, it takes so long to get a hat even while idling, the time it takes without is multiplied many times over.

I have been idling since a week after the initial hat patch, 4 months ago, every day every night. I just leave my old dell on 24/7 when not playing. When I want to play I exit the program and play on my main pc, then when I was done I would just launch it again on the dell.

Thousands and thousands of hours spent, only 1 hat obtained
A system based completely on chance doesn't work. It is mathematically possible to play until the end of time and never obtain a single item. Even Blizzard realized this was a bad idea with World of Warcraft.
I was originally going to post a scaled version of my steamstats log to show you how many hours were spent rolling the dice and coming up short to beter prove my point, but really, it's just too long.

They should instead just put in some insanely hard achievement for each hat. Like burn 9,000,000 players for the pyro fireman's hat. Or lite up 500,000 spies within 10 seconds of sapping a sentry for the pyro's engineer glove hat. etc..

These are long term goals that are achieved through basic play. PLAY which is what valve apparently wants. They also don't encourage playing like a moron, like ubering spies, as other achievements do..   read

3:57 AM on 08.24.2009

Review: Wolfenstein

The game is pretty good, yes, that's not saying much, decent fps games are a dime a dozen these days, and wolfenstein doesn't do much to stand out from the crowd. But it does do a few things. The shooting and controls feel very tight. One of the smoothest I've seen. The weapon upgrade system is fun, it really shows how the levels are designed so that you can tackle the same obstacle many ways. Wanna run through the entire game as a sniper? Fine, put most of your resources towards upgrading your sniper rifle, hang back and pick off heads.
The semi free roam city works well too. why? because it's small. saying it's like gta is not accurate, it's more like the city in Thief, but more integrated with the story. As you progress the city will change drastically as shit blows up, more elite troops move in, and as the resistance retakes the city. Entire sections will eventually become leveled under artillery fire, other sections will change as the Nazis set up their towers and defenses throughout the city. You can really see the story line having an effect. And as for the story? nothing special, what did you expect? but I'm not too concerned, it would be nice to have something more of course, but what it has is just enough to keep me from complaining. I also like the constant increase in enemy difficulty that seems to be balanced perfectly with the upgrades you'll be getting, the stealth assassins are hell. The game is always challenging, but not unbearable. When I die I don't feel cheated, like in say ..megaman, instead I think about how I can tackle this differently.
The graphics are not amazing, but they are still pretty good. The world itself was built pretty well, nearly everything can be destroyed. every class or folder on a table can be knocked off or broken, then the table itself can be broken into pieces, or used as cover. You will often times see Nazis kicking over tables and using them as cover, hiding behind many 'temporary' defenses. This really helps with immersion when for instance, you throw a grenade into a room and watch as everything is blown to the sides or destroyed. In the mansion level for example, as you move from room to room, after every firefight, it's very evident that a battle took place in each room by the time you are ready to move on.
The enemy ai is ..ok..not bad but not great. As I said, there's alot of finding cover wherever they can, this makes the ai very dynamic, but this also results a in a few problems, you will notice many times as a Nazi fails to seek cover behind a single barrel, leaving his head fully exposed, not even moving, thinking he's safe, when really it looks like a horse hiding behind a stop sign. But the up side is again, the ai is pretty dynamic, the game has a regenerating health system, which I'll touch on later, but when you take cover, to recover, nearby enemies will announce this fact to their allies and act accordingly, moving into a flanking position, or chucking grenades to flush you out. Same thing whenever you reload, they try and take advantage of this.

As for the downsides? I don't like the veil too much. The veil, is a little trinket you have that throws you into the shadow dimension, it brings everything to a low green glow but lights up all enemies, it also makes finding secrets possible and makes finding money and intel much easier, there's really no downside to it. You can even later upgrade it to see through walls. You also get some powers, slow time, which I found useless. Shield which I also found to be useless. Both of these drain too much of your veil energy(you only have so much). And finally, the only good one, an ability that vastly powers up your bullets. My problem is, it's a bit too useful. You will be in veil mode, 80% of the time. As I said, the graphics in the game are pretty good, not amazing, but still good. But you wont see most of it since you're running around in neon mode all the time.
There's these passive creatures flying around called geists, if you shoot one it explodes and kills anyone nearby, but they are never anyplace useful when you need them to be so I just ignore them. Also if you kill too many of them, they attack you, reminds me of the cuckoos in zelda. I wish they would have done something more with this, in the beginning of the game I felt like they kinda implied that later, hostile creatures would be introduced, thus providing a reason not to run around in super wallhacks mode all the time. You could flip on the veil and shoot the unaware Nazi behind this wall, but then that big evil ghost..demon..thing that's just waiting in the veil dimension would see you.
But whatever, moving on. Regenerating health is back, like in Call of Duty 4, it's not the best system, but it works well with the games free roam system. It allows the game to throw many types of situations at you, knowing you're always at 100%. Some people hate it with a passion but I DO think that regenerating health is a very minor step forward, I just wish they would think of something better. Maybe a combination of the two, like in marvel vs capcom 2, when you're hit, you take temporary damage and permanent damage, the temporary will heal if you take cover and don't take any more damage, but the permanent will only heal with a medpack.
Finally there's a slew of awesome super weapons, unfortunately as usual they are too strong to be used as your primary weapon for the entire game, the developers have forced a limitation on their use by only providing small amounts of ammo for them, thus forcing you to keep the awesome weapons packed away for the boss fights leaving you to use the kar and mp43 for the duration of the game. Yes this is standard procedure, but I still hate it. Why can't you just tone down the particle cannon or tesla gun so that it's not game breaking, but rather a valid alternative to the mp43 with pros and cons, then I could actually make a decision as to which gun I want to main and upgrade? Currently putting your money into anything other than the mp43 and kar is stupid. I don't care if the Tesla gun is weaker, if that allows me to use it for the duration of the game, tone it down and give me tons of ammo. This has always been a problem since the bfg9000 in doom.

The game is good fun, despite a few flaws, honestly, Wolfenstein's biggest issue is that it really has nothing to do with the original wolf3d that many of us grew up with. Yes the original was just a giant maze, you can't really use that, but there are other things. Wold3d had a feeling of loneliness, as you descending deeper and deeper into this seemingly endless dungeon a creeping feeling of claustrophobia abd abandonment seems to sink in. Taking down boss after crazy boss (remember the doctor in the giant metal room?), discovering the castles endless secrets, Wolfenstein 2009 captures none of this. But even though it may not be a good wolfenstein game, it's still a good GAME.
You could easily do alot worse, try it out. And of course, make sure you turn off that console auto aim shit and throw it on hard, it's alot more fun.

Played on the PC   read

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