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It's my Opinion, yours may vary!

Just my thought's on various games and ideas!

Author: vknid

Computer Killer MMOGs.

Posted by vknid Friday September 7 2007 at 9:27PM
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    Today, I just wanted to talk a little bit about the Comp Killer MMOG issue.  I define a Comp Killer MMOG as a game that has such amazing graphical capabilities that it will kill or effectively bring, what you thought was a high end computer to its knees  (i.e. lag, stutter or crash!).  More and more developers are producing games like this.

    While I can appreciate why they do it..  I mean look at some of the games coming out soon.  Oh my gosh, they are beautiful, truly amazing works of art.  There are a lot of good things about making games this way.  For example, being on the cutting edge of graphic technology means you’re going to get that realism never seen before.  This adds a lot to the immersion factor.
Also another reason Devs do this is for game longevity.  Meaning it’s probably going to still look pretty 5 years down the road.  So yeah, I can see the appeal to using cutting edge technology.

    But, and that’s a very large but mind you..  What good is it, if your computer can’t handle it?  All that technology and Dev effort potentially wasted simply because they made a game so far ahead of its time, they we (I would expect 75% of gamers, possibly more..) don’t have bleeding edge computer hardware.  I said “potentially wasted” because for those of us with fat wallets will have no problems with the game.  However those of us that might be on a budget, will either see the recommended system specs on the box, then set it right back on the shelf, or not check the min spec (which I think a lot of us do this), get home, load it up and it run like total crap even at the lowest graphical setting.  Now you’re out 50 bucks and cursing obscenities at the game box.

    I mentioned “lowest graphical setting” back there.  This is the key point of why I’m writing this blog.  It’s something that seems to be over looked in some of the newer games with amazing graphics.  So they have minimum specifications on the side of the box for running the game, but what does that really mean?  Lets say you meet the min spec’s on the box..  For a bleeding edge game, does that mean your client won’t crash when you start up it up?  Maybe it will run, but you have to use all of the lowest settings and turn off all the special effects, so when you run around the game you're just a blob of grey color fighting other featureless blobs?  Or it disconnect you out of the game every 10 minutes or so?  In most cases that’s all you really get.

    One thing that came to mind when writing this, a rumor I read a while back, which I sincerely hope isn’t true.  Allegedly one reason they make games with such high end graphics is because they make deals with video card companies.  Want that high end game?  Shell out the cash for new hardware!  Cha-ching for both parties!  A really evil scheme if you ask me.

    In spite of the above rumor, it’s my wish that Game Devs would take “min spec” a little more seriously when creating their worlds.  I would like to think that it’s not too hard for them to devote a little time to making the game look nice and run smooth for those that want to enjoy their game, but are forced to use low graphic setting.  I’m also willing to bet that the general gaming community would greatly appreciate it too!  Customer satisfaction should be looked at from all perspectives when making a MMOG (or any game for that matter!). 

    Maybe it’s the low end of the graphic settings, but tight budget gamers are not the low end of the market.


- vknid

Me and TR.

Posted by vknid Thursday September 6 2007 at 10:47PM
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I write this assuming you have followed TR for a while or at least read their website for a little background on the game!

I've been in beta for a while now.. but choose not to eat,sleep and poop TR.. so I might not have gotten too far into what TR has to offer.

I have a computer system that I think is somewhere in the middle of Min Spec, and Recommended Spec. With that said, the game looks horrible. Because its beta, they might have some sort of lockout from me turning up my settings, as I cannot change them from the Lowest setting they have. So for me, the game is very ugly.

I have to say the whole concept of TR is awesome, future'ish weapons omglaserspewpewpew is for sure my cup'o tea. BUT, with a low end system... my pew pew pew is more like ew ew ew.

Yeah that might be shallow, but hey.. I want my eye candy without shelling out 2.5k for new hardware. I can dream can't I?

The game has a lot to offer but, I just don't see it when I play. Yes its just beta, but as you now know.. release day is just around the corner. They better have some wow factor in the next few patches or it will flop (i.e. only have the fanbois hanging around for kicks and giggles).

Heavy instancing is one thing I noticed when playing.. Some games will use an instance only for dungeons.. which is cool I think. In TR, the "normal" world where you get missions, sit around and chat with your buddys, level grind.. etc.. that can be instanced as well. I'm sure it's probably meant to handle large surges of people.. say release day. But man, something about that just feels... dirty. "Hey Jim, where are ya?", "I'm at LZ 5, you?", "yeah im there too, but dont see you...wth?", "Doh, its LZ 5 instance 7!". I dunno.. IMHO, that feels dirty.

Tons of gun, if you don't like guns/lasers, this isn't the game for you. I don't think you will see a Staff or Sword until one of the last specialization tiers. For some that's a welcome change, and for others, a real downer. Just realize that fact before you buy the game.

I wanted to touch on the subject of TR being "FPS Like" real quick. How you actually manipulate the game and what your UI looks like... is VERY much like a FPS. I honestly don't care what anyone else says.. it's around 98% FPS like! Your accuracy doesn't matter like an FPS, because of the "sticky" targeting and how you can "lock on" a target.. but you still Aim and Click to fire your weapon. It's a dumbed down FPS in that respect.
Even when it comes to using weapons and special abilities it's FPS like.. In a standard MMO you have a hotkey bar where you have the option to use your keyboard to press an action or you can use a mouse click. Not in TR to my knowledge. Since your mouse is locked into "look mode" until you access your skill sheet, bags etc...
So yes, it's FPS Like =)

The cloning aspect is a nice touch. I really like the idea of not having to start the game over just to try a new "class" if I wanted. Plus you get a ton of Char slots.. it's like 16 (Might be less since I can't remember how many exactly) slots to play around with.
When you make a clone you pretty much keep all of your level progression up to the point you clone. But you start out with "newbie" gear. You do however get a "Footlocker" or Bank that is shared between all of your toons. So you can easily transfer gear from one toon to the other.

Missions seem to be very cut and dry. Nothing really pulled me in like I had hoped. Most of the missions I remember were very easy. From what I remember I think it even gave a pin point on my map where I needed to go to finish the Mission. Did I need to read it? Nah. It's been a while since I did a Mission, so in this newest patch, they could have changed that. *shrug*

As for skills, you get a Skill Tree (think Talents like in WoW) for your Class. Each "Tier" opens up a few new skills or abilities you can stick points into(Which I think is called "Pumping"). Every time you level, you get some points for your attributes (Mind, Body and Spirit) and a few for your abilities.
IMHO, I wish they made at least one more branch to go down after "Recruit".. As I love complexity and enjoy a lot of options.

The Gear in the game is, interesting. You have several armor types, that are unlocked as you advance in your Tier of choice. In fact there are 7 different types of armor you can choose from (Tier restricted of course). Motor Assist, Reflective, Hazmat, Gravatron, Stealth, Mech and Bio armor. I haven't been able to see and play around with many of them, but so far, I can't tell the difference between any of them (aesthetically speaking of course). It could just be my graphics are so low that it all just gets mushed together and "looks" the same as the next set of armor. For the most part, when your strolling down the road, you really can't tell a soldier from a specialist. Does it really matter? Nah.. but you will all look the same!
The stats on the "exceptional" armor (i.e. the gear that has 'extra' stats) seems to be very random, and some of the values are not be very self explanatory. At least for me anyhow. I guess its just part of the learning curve I suppose. I wont go into detail, because there is quite a bit I still don't understand! =P

Well that's all that comes to mind about TR. I'm sure this game will probably be one of the coolest looking games to date, but you just have to shell out the cash for new hardware.
As for game play.. I just don't see it yet.. yeah it's gun's a blazing fast fun, but how far will that really take us?

In a way, I still want to buy it in hopes it becomes the next top MMO, but... I don't know, I think I will just save my money, and if within a few months they don't merge 6 servers into 1, I might just pick up a copy. =/

- vknid

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