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2:40 PM on 02.10.2012

Training: To be the best (of bronze league)

Once upon a time in the year 2010. There was a game called Starcraft 2. I pre-ordered it for my aging gaming laptop and so started my journey into the world of Zergs, Protoss and human assholes.
My flatmate and college friend was well versed in the ways of Starcraft 2 because of the beta but he didn't pre-order in time. So I kindly gave him a time code card that came with and my installation DVDs and off we went!

At first I gave the multiplayer a try and was surprised by the way the multiplayer was structured, compared to the original where by the time I started the only ones remaining were the good and the pro that pummelled newcomers in a matter of minutes.
But SC2 was different it asked what race I wanted to play and practically said "We want to see how good you are. Have a few matches against people." It seemed nice, comforting to know that I can show what I am worth and be put with people of similar skills to breed some actual competition.
Now this is where the game got smart on me. Despite me winning most of my games. It still put me in the bronze league. I asked my friend about this and he explained it's all about how well you use what you know and APMs and such. This gave us an idea. We will play really dumb in the five 2vs2 games to see what league we will join, we were aiming for bronze so we could try to dominate the league. We decided to be protoss and just spam zealots at one base until they crumble. We thought it would never work. Surely people will defend their bases and destroy us. How wrong we were.
The first match was won in a matter of minutes. Getting zealots churning out was easy. Simply harvesting minerals and building more gateways and pylons just did the trick. We overran the opposition.
I went downstairs to my friend and burst out laughing. We wanted to let this tactic roll and see where it led us. The next 4 matches weren't as straight forward. So we built more gateways practically outside people's bases. We got determined. We got ambitious. We got into silver league.

This was a big mistake for us as we were over our heads. My friend wasn't good enough to carry me into winning matches. It broke us down. We tried more matches using different tactics and that didn't work either. Whoever we were pitted against were better prepared and possibly used comms better than shouting up and down the stairs.

I still play SC2. Not that often as the changes that have been made and the skill of the players are definitely a lot higher than I can get now. But I have taken to League of Legends really well! But that's another story (well a shit story to be honest).   read

4:16 PM on 12.28.2011

Resolutions: Fuck off Steam and your sales!

Well 2011 had no gaming resolutions as I knew itíd be a crap year. I did foolishly believe I could drop below 14 stone. Back then I was about 15 and a half. Now I am closing in on 16 stone but I have been hitting the gym at least 3 times a week in the last month. But 2012 will be different. I will challenge myself over this new year.

My first resolution of the year will be to try and review a game in each quarter of the year. More if itís possible but start with one every three months. The main reason being was that I enjoyed reviewing games when I was younger, in the college years. I had the time to play them. I just had a Gamecube and a shit PC. Times were simple back then. Now I write a paragraph. Think itís utter bollocks and delete the file and never start over. I think trying to write about small games will help. Also any tips and info any reviewers have will be welcome too... Unfortunately America is a long way for me to go to give blowjobs. ;)

My 2nd will be to play more Starcraft 2. I used to play until the end of last year where I was managing to reach the silver league. But since then I am getting battered by every bronze league player that is coming in, mainly because I took a 6 month hiatus. I have already took some steps towards this. I have a spanky new Razer Starcraft 2 Spectre mouse and Marauder keyboard, it handily flashes alerts at me during matches (so far itís helped me notice whatís happening). Plus I have been playing about 5 games a week so far. All losses but I am learning from mistakes and soon one day. Only the gold league players will be left and eventually I will drag one down to my level and win!

My final resolution is to hammer through my backlog of games and stop looking at the Steam sales. Every Steam sale week has given me up to 20 games in a week that I will end up buying on impulse. Like I bought Serious Sam 3 because it was half price along with the Serious Sam Indie games as they look fun to have a go as well! What have I become! Does all my disposable income have to go on games! It could be befitting myself with money towards a new house. Even a new car! But it just goes on Steam sales! But once I stem the tide of buying things. Hopefully the number of games I will be still playing will drop too.

But thatís it. I think Iíve set myself enough gaming resolutions that I believe I can complete before the end of next year. Hopefully I'll get back on track with losing weight as well.   read

2:56 PM on 12.01.2011

Tales from Skyrim: I think I have won the game!

Want to hear a Skyrim story? You want a story about dragons? Well itís got none!.. Wait! Come back! It has something just as good!

It all started when I eventually reached Whiterun and decided to join the Companions. I swung my mace at Varkisí face to show him I mean business and he gave me some little jobs to begin with. All was good in the world of making money and killing dudes.
But eventually I took a trip out with one of the Companion guys to find a shard of hogarth or what not. I wasnít really paying attention at the time, except he said it was my trial. We met up at a cave and started to explore the place. We were encountering folk called the Silver Hand. At the time I believed they were some kind of bandit group.
It was when I got locked in a little cave and saw my Companion buddy surrounded by a bunch of those guys. Some threats were made to my new best friend and then he turned into a motherfucking werewolf! He started slashing them folk down and ran them off. He came back eventually as a human again and had a so what attitude about me finding out the most awesome thing about him. We carried on and found the thingymabob after some more slaughtering of this Silver Hand group now I know they are the enemy of werewolves. I did good. Unfortunately when I got back with the goods they just praised my service and said I am in their group. That was all I got from the event. I was real gutted.

Fortunately good things come to those who wait. Over time I did more work and eventually SkŲr gave me a special request. We went to a hidden cave near the Companions hold and I saw a werewolf. He said I should recognise the huntress lady. I donít know how, considering she usually looked like a woman. But he liked to talk about how they want to become the beast and that it shouldnít be hidden and really talking up this business of being a werewolf. He cuts her arm and asks me to drink her blood. Naturally I accept as itís the right thing to do and suddenly I change.
Next thing I see is myself as a werewolf. I spin round and see Lydia. She has been following me for a while and was starting to do my nut in. I instantly slash her up into ribbons and see that I can feed from her corpse. So I do just that. The screen goes dark again and I eventually awake in a forest wearing nothing but my loin cloth and epic beard. The huntress stands in front of me. She tells me what we need to do is to clear out a stronghold of Silver Hand and that SkŲr has already charged in. So instantly I change to a werewolf and rush my way towards the place ripping the throats out of my enemy. The huntress and I get in.
We make short work of the folk who want us dead. But I eventually meet a big guy nicknamed: The Skinner. I realise I shouldíve kept feeding on folk. I change back into my human form. Armed only with my beard, it was not enough to survive from his big axe.

I tried again and this time I learnt from my mistakes. I kill the guy and learn that SkŲr was already killed by the bastards. I take his armour as itís better than mine, itís what he wouldíve wanted. But it gets better, a day or so later I get a message. It says that with Lydia being killed, I will be compensated 300 gold. An added bonus is that I killed Lydia in Whiterun and no one kicked up a fuss. So I practically got away with murder and got paid for it.

The moral of the story is that werewolves are cool and not even the Nords gave a shit about Lydia!   read

1:11 PM on 11.17.2011

Zelda Week: Ooooh yeah! (or one's history of Zelda)

This has been a pretty good year for Zelda games. We had Ocarina of Time for the 3DS. Which doesnít just pretty up the original N64 title by replacing all the textures and improving the graphics as a whole. It also gave the Master Quest, which I will vouch to complete in 3D! All due to my old Gamecube memory card dying.
Then there was the free release of the 4 Swords Adventures. Modified to use both DS screens. A nice little coop/ competitive game putting up to 4 links to go through dungeons, solve puzzles, grabbing more rupees than the other guys and stabbing bad dudes.
Finally thereís the nearly released everywhere Skyward Sword. Bringing Zelda back to the Wii and finally making use of the Wii-motion Plus to fight baddies more realistically with the sword rather than using the Wii's original waggle physics, I'm looking at you Twilight Princess!

Iím a fan of the Zelda titles. I see all of the games as new adventures and it just brings out the young me when I played Zelda first on the Game Boy with Linkís Awakening. Exploring the world, seeing the strange sights back on Koholint Island. When I saw the references to Mario and thinking it was odd and then realising itís really a freaking dream world! That was madness!
I then played Link to the Past on the SNES and that really stumped me as a kid with itís puzzles and the concept of light and dark worlds, which for a SNES game worked really well. Being able to switch between the two worlds in certain ways to solve puzzles and get items really got me thinking at times. Although it brought my most aggravating boss from the Game Boy game along to haunt me. You see the first GB Zelda boss and the 3rd SNES Zelda Boss are the same boss! Just fuck off pushing me from your platform and gaining your health to full whilst I suffer defeat from running out of hearts!
The N64 Zeldas were next and got them for both Christmasí they were set to release on. Ocarina of Time had the idea of using two different time zones to help him save the world. I always found that seeing Link change from child to adult was a little bit eeyrie. This was the first Zelda game where I would always find new little sights to see and interesting things to do outside of adventuring like spending a whole afternoon fishing for the big catch when you are a kid and then finding even bigger fishies as an adult. That was so good. I loved fishing when I was fed up trying to figure out what I was meant to do in a dungeon, that felt good to me.
Majoraís Mask on the other hand terrified me. Having those 3 days to do anything all the time put a stress on me as a kid like nothing else at the time I didnít know life is constantly like that at the time. It probably taught me to start worrying about important deadlines. But with that, it didnít appeal to me as much. Mostly because of the parallel universe thing using a lot of similar characters. Along with the frustrating time mechanic as I kept forgetting to deposit money and I kept forgetting how to do tasks in the right order. Even with the guide that I bought for pound with another game (weird Game deals) I just had a hard time with it. My girlfriend keeps telling me to play it to get her through the 3rd dungeon but I refuse out of sheer annoyance.
After that I still got the Zelda games but started to fall behind due to getting them when I could rather than on christmas.

I just feel like Zelda games can hardly go wrong. They have a formula that holds out every time due to how flexible it can be. It only needs to change a few things per game and boom! Itís a Nintendo great! That can be said with a lot of Nintendo games, but Zelda is my go to fantasy universe that even beats my Elder Scrolls fascination because itís not so intimidating to players to get immersed. Bosses are only behind the big sealed doors with the horns on and you wonít be looking at 5 axes to decide which you would like to use. I just like how every game has itís differences but you know that a lot of the goals are the same. It just brings out the child in me who wants to just play through another story with the guy who wear a ridiculous outfit and saves the world.   read

4:05 PM on 09.14.2011

One man's perceptions of the state of F2P gaming

Free to play games used to get a lot of stick in the olden days, companies would build their virtual empires on MMORPGs that had little story or little reason to go for it. One of the oldest I knew about was Runescape. A game that co-workers loved to scam people out of hard earned virtual items for more fun than turning a profit. Nowadays I always see my girlfriend clicking away at free to play games on Facebook and when co-workers ask me to play a game on there because they need more dudes in their virtual pyramid scheme. I go on about how the game offers no real risk reward as would a game like World of Tanks does (If you do well then you get better tanks faster. Do shit and you lose in game credits). Maybe I donít like the lab rat reward scheme that Facebook CSI offers.

But over the last few years we have had offerings like Quake Live, League of Legends and even Team Fortress 2 becoming free to play was a glorious surprise for those that havenít taken advantage of Steamís numerous sales of the game or just late to the PC party. It helped get a friend of mine back on TF2 after he couldnít log into his Steam account as it was untouched for roughly a year. So we are seeing the free to play market expand with a greater variety of titles. But are they always getting the right formula?
One game I can say is doing well but could do with a change or two is World of Tanks. I have made two accounts on this game and the first was from scratch and not paying a single pound sterling towards the in-game gold that would provide me with boosters and purchasing tanks, if better tanks are available to a fresh player. The problem is that when you are new you have tanks that look like tractors. These tractors with cannons are slow and weak. A well placed shot will destroy you in one go and even a glancing blow can cause enough damage that thereís little you can do before you are put down. This means you have such slow progress, you may just want to quit straight after your first bunch of losses. The second play-through from the start was with a free starting pack provided by a PC games magazine. This gave me a fast strong light tank along with gold and bonus time for double XP and credits. So I managed to get to the same point in the tech tree in about a nights worth of matches. Now I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. I know the starter tanks face other lower tier tanks but just having a tank that was a cut above the rest shows that having some perk at the start can take you a long way. Holding it back seems to be the wrong idea as a taste of nice things could help users want to try out using bonuses more often. Dragging you through the mud isnít what people would call fun.
My other gripe about this type of game is how if you get a friend to play. One of you will need to cough up some cash to play together. Itís like you can both go paintballing for free but your friend will be in another forest and there is a bridge to that other forest and it requires you to pay to allow you into that other forest.
World of Tanks isnít the only culprit in forcing you to pay to play with friends. Quake Live also treats you to the same problem. You are forced to Ďgo proí so you and some friends can have a game. I could also just install Quake 3 and find an active server. So you can see the problem that Quake Live faces as itís competitor is itís past that has not left yet.

Donít think Iím going to just shit all over free to play games. I really do enjoy playing World of Tanks to see if I can win a few rounds and ruin some tanks without getting myself killed. I also like Quake Live for itís play anywhere mentality as I managed to get running at my girlfriendís parentís PC without having to fiddle with graphics settings other to make it full screen. Just 5 minutes of downloading and away I go.

There are other games that have gone free to play for the better. Lord of the Rings Online has been made free and itís a boost as I can do the usual run around and grind for an hour whilst watching some TV. Itís fine and I donít have to spend money to do so. Itís like getting that grind fix I like in small doses in WoW but without a monthly cost.

This will lead me to my next gripe. The Ďshoving your wares as soon as possible policyí. The recent Age of Empires Online (AoE Online for short) is my target here. Mainly because as soon as I picked my civilisation I wanted to play as. It shows Ďbuy premiumí straight on the portait of the civ I just created. I kinda dislike being asked straight away in a free game to buy add-ons before I know what a game is like. It is a marketing thing but let me have my fun first. I donít even know what the game is like! Stop shoving that grinning old dude in my face (youíll know him when I see him)! Let me roll over some dudes base with catapults like I did in the times of old AoE. But even with itís slow learning curve. The game doesnít just shove you straight into a fight with other players as that would be a kick in the balls. PvP seems optional but I will need to put more time into the game. So hopefully Iíll be able to give it a full run down later.

So are free to play games going to replace you having to spend 30 - 40 quid to play a full game? Probably not, simply due to a free-to-play gameís pricing scheme. A section of game can cost from 5 to 10 pounds. A season pass of content for AoE Online can cost upward to 80 quid for what would be the usual 30 quid. This payment plan really doesnít seem ideal for the have your cake and eat it type, yíknow the sort that likes to get hold of every piece of content. Pro-tip - donít splash out all at once. Maybe one day a F2P game will get a total price down to something a bit more reasonable for a first release of content in a game. But it's definitely had some very nice tries so far.   read

12:33 PM on 07.19.2011

The XBLAs and the PS... whatever they are games

Destructoid, you want to know what I like to play on my consoles. Well I'll just have to brush the dust off my memory and by that I need to boot up my consoles... Well the Xbox has decided to throw out an update so shall I start with the PSN download games? There's no update on that thing so lets roll with that.

Well here's the problem that I found with PSN download titles. I never felt all that settled on a lot of PSN games. Either because I bought them and moved out then found that without the internet I couldn't say I owned the games, yeah 3 months of looking at crazy Asteroids like title say you can only play the demo until you can prove you own this and not say it on the media bar was pretty annoying. It worked fine when I had internet elsewhere. But the game I enjoyed the most was Pixeljunk Shooter. Now that was a pretty interesting game when I managed to get it. I just loved how you could drain water onto lava monsters and murder them that way or be cruel in 2 player and shoot open a lava flow onto a friend's ship. It also looks like it's the only PSN title I have bothered to play through to completion. But even games I received for free to keep from PSN+ haven't been played through. Probably says something about me really but let's not get into that! I have not only finished it I have wanted to re-play it for 100% completion but I have to start over as my old PS3 died.

As for the Xbox as it's finally working again I immediately saw Geometry Wars 2 in my recently played. Yeah! That! I just loved that game so much I would be at a friends drinking and when they start to crack out the drugs before a night out in the town. I'd still be on the couch playing that, trying to get better at that rather than partaking in being broken down by peer pressure and doing what the 'cool kids do'. But having a few beers and shots in your system does slow my reactions down a tad too much to say I was improving.
I simply liked Geometry Wars 2 because Bizarre saw what they did with their previous version of Geometry Wars. Looked at keeping the original mode as close to the same as they could without making it completely identical but then building extra modes into it to give players new things to try. But it was just a lovely package of new games with the added cherry- Leaderboards! But they weren't just some leaderboards thrown together for the elite. Oh no. It lets you know who is your next friend that has a better high score compared to yours and that brought some massive rivalry against one of my friends until this year was beating me at just one of the games in Geo Wars 2 that he would gloat whenever he could see the scoreboards either at mine or at a friends even when his Xbox died. It made coming back to that game a joy as I can see other friends to beat but some have set a score so high I will need to play the game solidly for a few days to get the skills to beat them.

So that's my favourite games. Haven't really got any on any other console. Tried to think one for the Wii but I could never be fucked with Wiiware. I just like playing old console titles that never got released in the UK. Plus I haven't got more than a few DSIware games and haven't played them enough to make a serious decision yet.

Also going to do my Eve Diary again soon. Things are getting interesting in Eve standards but might not be for me. But will need the time to write that.   read

2:04 PM on 07.13.2011

Digital Distribution: The new school playground of RAGE!

So a lot of people are in a rage over EA basically re-branding their online distribution and pulling their dicks out of the Steam money train by taking away some games from Steam (just Crysis 2?) and only making their new Origin service to provide upcoming EA games online or buy them from a shop like Battlefield 3 and Star Wars: Old republic thingy (yep keeping up with every game me). I think itís a lot of chest beating over something thatís technically new but has been around longer than you think.

Now I remember back when Valve first announced Steam and said to itís community: ďYou want new updates to Counter-Strike? You gotta use this!Ē Back then when they said that. They also said you need a fucking better computer to play your Counter-Strikes! This did not go down well with the community because people liked playing Counter-Strike on their old computers. Mine was actually new enough at the time to run it all without problems and I had no issue with putting in CD keys back to Valve. But considering it was new way of distributing their games and updates and trying to make sure the player base all had the correct versions of game and start this online buying madness we have now. As before Steam I bought the first Half-Life collection box, which included Counter-Strike and I was immediately fucked over by having an already old version of the game and running on dial-up. So actually playing was painful and even when I got all the updates. I had trouble finding servers that used the same version. It was a bit of a messy experience for me. But with Steam it was up to date as soon as it was downloaded and was easier to find good servers. I knew some people werenít happy with the service despite this new found ease but thatís no surprise. Then they started to sell the games later on once they got their service all sorted out and the rest is pretty much history as everyone knows today.
I simply wanted to give that history lesson from my perspective. It's not perfect but I think I've seen this happen enough times to start thinking that reactions people have towards 'new' things seem to follow the same pattern

But EA has had their online store services available for a good few years now as I have made purchases from their service and it has made 2 changes since then and even on Origin there is still the first couple of games that I bought are still available. Even when they first started to sell games they played a "5 quid more to make sure your games don't disappear within a year" service. I didn't like that idea of losing my games so backed up the install files like paranoid man writing every thought onto a piece of paper and making a copy to put in a vault. EA's prices have never been particularly great but they know that if some one wants a game badly and stores donít stock it/ can't get it soon enough. There will be customers. But seeing people get angry about a service like Origin put Battlefield 3 as £40 for limited edition and be angry that they should sell it for less as thereís no discs and packaging involved. Just go and get it cheaper elsewhere! Some shops are still going to stock that game for less and I found it for £30 on pre-order. You see what I'm getting at yet?

There have been other digital distributors out there that have needlessly outraged people as well. Impulse with being bought by Gamestop. Although I keep looking around Impulse and it still seems the same with what they have on offer and that they have sales. They also offer games not available on Steam like Sins of a Solar Empire and no one raged about that from what I remember. But I have just gone on Impulse now and there are sales going on. They are never going to be as fantastic as Steam but who will when you have pioneered a store for nearly everything. But just today, I have seen Fallout 3 GOTY edition for under 7 quid (that tempts me as I didnít see Fallout 3 GOTY on the Steam Summer Sale as I wasnít at my PC for the entire week. So it shows that even with a buy-out operations within Impulse havenít changed to reflect what I have heard of Ďthe hatred of Gamestopí. Although I've only seen a single Gamestop store ever in the UK so it's hard to judge them myself.
Also letís not forget Good Old Games little stint at humour...
No one is perfect.

So basically Iím just getting at saying, if you donít like what you see or read. Buy your games elsewhere and stop bitching as I donít understand that no one thinks to shop around if they have to. I know that EA seem to be getting a lot of hate from PC gamers at the moment for wanting all their games from Steam but you donít have to have this 1 service, 1 rule mentality to where to get your games from. I like being able to download from where ever has the best deal at the time I want something.
I'll leave you with a final thought of mine. Iím going to be curious if high street stores begin to feel pissed off by EA like they did with Steam and threaten to stop stocking EA games from now on. I think it's unlikely as EA is a big publisher but it will show how the time of brick and mortar shops are nearly setting their own businesses on fire.   read

4:13 PM on 05.18.2011

Getting my Witcher 2 on!

Well no Eve for a while. Been hitting World of Warcraft with a friend at work. We have blasted our way up to level 30 in a couple of weeks. He heals as a priest and I tank with a Paladin. We do pretty good but we are on break for a little bit and playing our own things.

Now that PSN is back. My girlfriend and I are playing through Portal 2. We have managed to get to Test Chamber section 3 with the light platforms before annoyances have risen between us (annoyed phone calls or her trying to explain something when I think we need to do something else). She hasn't got a headset and I figured it would be best not to use mine on my PC as I could imagine her just rage quitting over what I might say. But I think the next few sessions to finish off the coop may tip me over the edge. :P

But since getting my cheap as fuck copy of The Witcher 2. I have started to sink my teeth into it. Last night I had a quick play and quickly learnt that clicking on the first option mentioning a dragon is a bad idea. Not only does it plonk you in at a bad time in the story, it puts you in a section that's kinda hard even after playing the game for a hour or so.
So this morning I started again and played from the titties... I mean the start! I also cranked the graphics from being set for a medium spec PC to a high spec PC and I have to admit the improvements to graphical quality does show. Although I knocked motion blur off as that annoys me. But the graphics are impressive to say the least. Exiting the tent at the beginning to get the bright sun before regaining your sight to see the war camp in the sun. It shows you that it isn't a piss about war. It's a bloody siege on a castle!

Now from the beginning there is the casual showing of tits. I have to say it makes sense as where they are looks pretty fucking warm. I wouldn't wear a lot in bed either. Although Triss now looks a lot less like a street hooker and is magically looking and sounding younger. Just a surprise to me.
But for now I learned the basics as well as I could before getting into the action. I just get shit chatted to me by the soldiers that are preparing for an assault of a castle to get the Kings bastard children back to him. Good times!

Now the combat starts with you and a group of soldiers fighting another group. It's good to be told how your sword swings and how to parry when there's a lot of fodder to protect you. But the stop start of the beginning bit sort of annoyed me. Especially with a section of setting up a ballista. The game would have you tapping the mouse button to set up and then it would show enemy soldiers show up and I think it was doing it to let you learn how to fight better but it didn't have to be repeating itself 2 or 3 times.

As for the combat, it's pretty straight forward. Left mouse = slash. Right mouse = bigger slash. Space = roll about, e lets you parry and q allows you to use magic. The problem is that it never mentioned when you suffer fatigue from parring heavy blows and using magic. You can't parry any more! So you hit the key to parry and you just stand there. I only learnt that by chance. My other gripe is the parrying itself. You parry on the guy you are looking at have the focus indicator on him. The problem with that is that if some else attacks you then you have to move the mouse to look at him and parry. The indicator doesn't work that great to me. So sometimes I can parry a couple of hits and be ok or I parry the wrong person and get a sword in the face. By the end of the prologue I levelled up enough to unlock the fuck you parry system where you parry everyone around you. Best upgrade I got so far.
But as a whole combat feels a lot more engaging than it did in the original game. I can roll past a guy's swing and stab him in the arse like a pro and zap a guy with fire. It makes you feel like a badass when you get the hang of things. But I like the ctrl key quick menu where you can switch the spell you want to use. It doesn't pause the game but puts it into bullet time so you get a second or two but with dudes coming at you, make your choices quickly. Also fighting different soldiers show their different fighting styles. Dudes with shields block a lot and can bash you with their shield. Big armoured dudes like to swing their bastard swords a lot to hit you with a devastating swing. Simple guards usually go for quicker smaller attacks and don't parry much. It puts your fighting experiance to the test when the game throws a bunch of guys at you who fight in different ways. It does feel rewarding though when you cuts them all down.

The game does experience one bug I've encountered a few times in a game of this quality where a guy would walk about the spot he is meant to stand on. I had a guy walk into a door and going about in circles a few times before finding his spot to smash a gate down with his comrade.

As for the story of the game so far. I haven't finished the original Witcher (my PC can play it now so.. yeah working on it) but I was worried at the start I will have no idea what's going on. That's until the King told me why there was the war on. It's like the worse case scenario for royal asshats splitting up. I wish more Royal split ups have a civil war to settle who gets what. But seeing the battle from Geralt's memory is a pretty good way to kick off this game and now reaching Act 1. I'm looking forward to what this game has in store. I wished the tutorials took things a bit slower on some cases like explaining in better detail about parrying or even doing the freeze the game to perform the action would have worked better than to show a box to the right of what's going on with small text (it's small at 1920x1080 to me). Apart from the small gripes, it's a pretty solid game. I think CDProjekt have raised their game with this title.   read

3:47 PM on 03.31.2011

Big bomb beats little frigate

So tonight's play of Eve started with a lovely greeting message from our Corp leader telling us to stay vigilant and keep an eye out on local for any nasties lurking in space. Guess what we have been wardecced AGAIN!
I'll try and sum it up in limerick form.

There was once a man called Duckslayer
Who went a bit all fuckflayer
Pissed off the Alliance
Killing all in his stridence (eh? it supposedly rhymes)
Now my corp are all saying "Fuck a duck!"

I don't know what or why this has kicked off so we have just been told to be cautious on the way to trading hubs. Now a guy in my corp recommended going to a said trading hub and I packed some things to sell and off I went in my fancy little frigate that gets me through troubles.
As I flew along I thought it might be worth checking prices of mining ships I'm after and they were getting cheaper. But I was making so much progress. My goal was only 7 jumps away. But guess what I rolled into. A massive bloody battle between a good load of people and someone set us up the bomb. I got completely obliterated. I don't really know what happened. I ended up being a few km away from warping through a gate and a bomb went off and wiped me out along with some other guys.

My killer however wasn't from the corp that declared a war on our Alliance but was actually a band of pirates with bounties that could buy me a tech 2 battleship. I just happened to be in the crossfire. But it wasn't all bad. I swore after my death due to losing all my implants that made ickle boosties to all my stats. Plus my Merlin did have some good speed boosting upgrades rigged in.

But it's not all bad news. I finally got a new mining ship. It's a Retriever and I didn't know how bloody expensive and necessaries strip miners were. But making money has never been quicker. The best thing is that if I get this one blown up. I may be allowed another. Whoop! Corps with benefits.   read

1:46 PM on 03.30.2011

How to waste time productively and TANKS!

I have been wading back into the plan of mining. I have had a mad idea to mine using a Badger. Now this is a idea I thought up as I lost my first big mining ship in seconds. My Badger I bought was designed to shift frigates to new locations when I had money to accumulate ships and then realised I would like to keep them in one place. Now my Badger can move 3 packaged Frigates. So mining is now a case of finding a 'valuable' rock on high-sec and mine the shit out of them. I just have to mine for ages to fill the cargo. Now this is making 200,000 ISK a trip.
To combat boredom. I am now playing other games. Hitting the weights and learning to programme in Android. It's great as I can play games I have on console. So I have won at Eve in that respect.

I'm also liking what I see in low-sec these days as I picked up a nice faster ship from my joining up some Pirates that never did owt. I have seen a lot more activity including a lot of fighting I just pass by. It's like having a gentle stroll in the middle of a riot or being in a gold fish bowl and getting the fuck away from the piranhas. But flying a Merlin to get around does not get any interest. So just run!

Also been playing the game: World of Tanks. Now I've given this a try and it's Freemium model is alien to me. I am given 500 gold. Which I can spend on special ammo and use to convert into money for certain upgrades but then there's gold required for certain tanks. It's bizarre. But I am enjoying the game itself. You play choosing a tank in the World War 2 era from either America, Germany or USSR (That's the Soviet Union to those late to the communist party) and you battle in a single round against random people in their tanks. It's a capture the base style game where you really should not get your tank destroyed. As you don't get your tank back until you end that battle. So it's requires tactics. But I like how tanks behave in a realistic way by rocking about when you come to a stop. Rolling over stuff will slow you down as tanks from the old days only had the advantage of not being destroyed by guns owned by soldiers... except if the soldiers had rocket launchers and panzershreks.
So far I have only managed to blow up a single tank on some games. So I have a lot to learn and need to earn more monies to get a nicer tank. But if you see me. I'm mistamunky. Just don't shoot me!   read

12:51 PM on 02.24.2011

Screw you Eve Online!

Captain's log. Thursday evening. Drinking time.

Been logged off for 3 days from Eve waiting to get the skills needed to pilot my discounted ship. Said ship was in low-sec space but being naive I took the chance and found getting to my new ship's station was the easy part. Getting into my new ship was like a breath of fresh air to me. I saw the new ISK making possibilities twinkle in my little head. This ship was a ORE Industrial Retreiver. I gave it a name better than Mikkoss' Retriever and called it: "Not a Porsche". Could make someone chuckle, I thought to myself. I checked all was ready and set out to make it to home and get some asteroid blasting equipment on this new juggernaut.

I undocked with everything planned out.

I was greeted to an overview of 2 yellow tagged ships. Could be trouble I thought. I quickly picked out my route and hit the warp button. The ship faffed about moving about like a truck trying to drive into a shoe box and would not give up. I sensed something's wrong.
Alarms sound. I've been targeted. I was like the fat, stupid kid leaving the school grounds and the bully is the god damn Predator! The first shot bites into my armour straight away. I knew I was in trouble. There's nothing that could be done, can't hide, may run but still my ship still acts confused. I hit warp some more times thinking that if I'm lucky I'll get away with some damage but still have my prize. The next shot blasts through into the hull. My ship has fire coming out of it's backside. I don't stand a chance. I need to get out now. I gaze at my ship being completely helpless.


Ships gone... Just me in the pod now. I manage to warp away. To the wrong jump gate. The bully chases after me. I jump again to the gate I want. I get away with my clone with a head full of cheap PC parts attached to his brain and a shoddy insurance payout.
I message the corp members of what happened. There's no sympathy from those veterans. Just a reminder to never try this again.

I make it to my home station alive. Get in a smaller ship and took a low pay mission and 5 minutes later I make less than 1% of the ISK towards a new ship...
I quit.

... Well there's always that World of Warcraft: Cataclysm trial on. Time to get my goblin on!
I may go back to Eve again some time. When I calm down about the time I sunk towards getting that ship for just a whole 40 seconds.   read

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