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The Banstick Blog

Blog for the Banstick Podcast which has a site located here:

Author: Abroxus

Global Agenda coverage at The Banstick

Posted by Abroxus Saturday January 23 2010 at 8:03AM
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Looks like the folks at Hi-Rez have gone ahead and lifted the NDA on Global Agenda. Which means, in the next day or two, The BanStick will have some great footage, commentary and over all goodies to show for the game.

We have YouTube Video here


And Episode 5 of the podcast talks about it


Hellgate: London minus Bill Roper? This may work!

Posted by Abroxus Saturday January 23 2010 at 8:00AM
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A long time ago I was a fan of the lore and the graphic novel surrounding this title. In fact when I blogged on Hudson’s Hideout about it I really got into the storyline and the characters of Hellgate: London. Well as we all know the title didn’t work out so great for Bill Roper and his Flagship Studios company.

Thrown into chaos by a poor pricing model, lack of bug fixes, poor management and repetitive gameplay Hellgate: London quickly became the whipping boy for the gaming press in 2008.



Cryptic should hire this guy to fix their games: exploting Star Trek Online

Posted by Abroxus Wednesday January 13 2010 at 3:39PM
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What an awesome post. Right there on the Star Trek Online boards a poster outlines, describes and tells you how to break the gameplay of STO. This is a rather fascinating post and it still baffles me to this day how developers can let MMO’s release with blatant issues like this:

Saw this in the closed beta, really seeing it in the open one and wanted to comment on it. STO currently rewards Antisocial play more than it rewards social play. How do I mean? Allow me to explain with examples I personally witnessed and then did to duplicate.

1. Fleet Actions – Re-gear your ship with all front power weapons and put your ship in attack mode. NEVER be first, the person first dies, always. Follow the pack around and the moment someone shoots at something open up. I did this and got 6 drops in a row, with more than 20 people shooting at things. I picked an entire group apart without ever being shot, while others were blown to pieces and got nothing for it. It’s hilarious to watch people figure this out, they zoom towards a pack of enemies, then screech to a halt at 15, and mill about until someone’s impatient or accidentally gets too close, then it’s like blood in the water.

How to fix it? Give credit for dmg received as well as dmg done. Being grouped is moot, I was taking loot from groups of 5 people simply because I was free to focus fire by playing like a jerk.

2. “Secure” missions - In addition to the above, you can also level for free while alt-tabbed playing other games. Fly into a Deep Space contact, fly deep into a corner, far from the action, alt tab and surf your pr0n. Every 5 min, tab in and press space so you don’t afk out. Every 15 min, tab in and call Sulu to turn in mission and get another. Congratulations, you’re afk leveling in STO, just like people did in SWG, and faster than most because a mission completion every 15-20 minutes is a lot faster than many people can do.

How to fix it?
* If you aren’t in combat, you don’t get credit for the Secure.
* The mission doesn’t complete until you leave the instance.
* You can only do the Secure missions 1/day.

3. General missions – You fly into a mission and are auto-grouped with people.

The mission objective is to hit glowies, but there are bad guys near them, and because you’re grouped there are a LOT of them. Easily handled, let the other schmoes in the group agro, run up and snag the glowy, move on. Let them be pounded and die, I’ll be moving on to the next mission. I did this last night with one of the patrols, hitting the strange objects. Some poor guy lit up 8 cruisers and was torn to pieces while I quietly zipped in, snagged the objective, and left.

The mission objective is to defeat packs of enemies. I wonder what’s on TV? I’ll sit at the door until it’s done, then warp out when it’s done. I bet I can get a few games of Gemz in!


Let the Star Trek Bandwagon-a-thon begin!

Posted by Abroxus Tuesday January 12 2010 at 12:23AM
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Ok so the NDA shield is down and all bloggers are firing torpedoes to get those hits in and post stuff about the MMO.

Here are a few links: West Karana, the leader so far in coverage

For the Lore has a nice write up

The Ancient Gaming Noob is about to wander into warp space

Dragonchasers wants to follow the other bloggers

Finally Don't Fear the Mutant has a less than stellar take on the game

Just remember folks the crap that was Champions Online. Beware. Be very aware. Still I am not totally closed on this title yet. I DO like Star Trek better than Star Wars after all. LONG LIVE NEXT GENERATION.

Let the blogger "I pre order everything" hype begin. This will be a fun next few weeks.

And at last the video below DOES NOT REPRESENT ACTUAL GAMEPLAY FOOTAGE but it is the best I could do since I am poor and a second class website (I mean c'mon WORDPRESS hosts my I fail or what?):

My views on tanking and helping guildies

Posted by Abroxus Tuesday January 5 2010 at 6:37AM
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We have a guy in our guild that moved two characters over. One character is really well geared, but he refuses to play him anymore. The other is a plate healer that wears cloth and leather. He has 13k unbuffed hit points. At level 80.

His main hand weapon is a level 70 healing purple mace.

Last night I was going to take some time off and relax and play my now level 63 shaman but when I logged in I saw guildies standing around not accomplishing anything so my instincts kicked in and snatched them all up and made them run heroics.

Since I was tanking no one had any objections to this, even though 3 of the 6 on could tank with off specs and had the gear. Therein lies the problem in this game. 40% of the classes or something like that can tank, but people refuse to do it. So when a dude that likes to tank logs in, I expect some action to be taken. I hate standing around, but that is not why I tank.

I tank because of several things:

A) I like to control the tempo of the fight.

B) By and large I don’t trust many other people to do it, although lately I have seen nothing but really solid tanks in all my LFG tool parties.

C) I like the adrenaline rush

D) I like to keep people alive, force the focus of the fights toward certain targets, and keep things at a pace that will have my group succeed.

E) I look fucking badass with an axe and shield and I get to charge and slam said shield in the face of people and strange creatures. Happy Holidays bitch.

F) I love standing there with 44,000 hit points and be constantly beat on and have it roll off me with little to no effect.

Thus I found myself helping out this undergeared guild member last night by running and farming not only REGULAR instances but also some fast heroics that I knew he could heal and not have issues with. You know what happened? Nothing but mail and cloth dropped, or PROT plate gear. Other nights, nothing but healing plate gear drops. Last night…nadda.

While we got him some badges and things like that, I cannot help but feel that he could have easily replaced that healing weapon with a green in the AH already, or worked on his faction to get some rewards off the vendors. Somewhere in the back of my mind it is niggling at me that maybe he is simply waiting to soak up some free gear in a easy 10 man practice run like Naxx. I hope that is not the case, because 80% of the gear he has can be upgraded and replaced through the AH or through faction rewards.

This tells me that he is perhaps a wee bit behind still on what he admitted. Most Recruit A Friend toons look exactly like his. You can always tell those because they have low faction, little to no achievement points and really crappy ass gear at level 80. Still there ARE things you can do to circumvent this. You just need to put in the effort. I don’t mind helping, but at least put forth some effort you know what I mean?

Champions Online: so bad Atari cannot afford color pictures

Posted by Abroxus Tuesday January 5 2010 at 6:35AM
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“According to our plans, the next book on the schedule was supposed to be The Champions Online Roleplaying Game. However, Atari, current owners of Cryptic, has changed the MMO’s marketing priorities and isn’t willing to provide us with the funding needed to do the book in the full-color fashion it requires. Since it’s not worth doing as a black-and-white book, we’re removing it from the schedule.

"Into its place we’re moving Champions Powers, the 6E version of the USPD. I’ll add to CP a section that would have gone into the CO RPG that provides pre-built versions of all of the CO powers, so gamers can easily re-create their online characters in the tabletop environment.”;jsessionid=a2gwN9u3C1C4

Best quote:

“An RPG based on an MMO based on an RPG that already exists….WAIT WHA?”

The game is epic failing. And after Star Trek epic fails we can hope they'll go away for good.

Is it any wonder new level 80 WoW players are terribad?

Posted by Abroxus Tuesday January 5 2010 at 6:27AM
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“Welcome to world of AOECraft. Where everyone AOE’s and hunters do their stupid falling arrow attacks from the sky or whatever that is.”

Overheard on our vent last night.

Went through on my 71 shaman and got Magister’s Terrace regular and heroic done, also did Shadow Labs. Looking back those Burning Crusade instances were actually HARD. A lot of CC, a lot of corner pulls and tucking groups of mobs away in hallways etc etc. A LOT of trash and a lot of crap the mobs do to you at once. Especially the annoying mind controlling Blackheart the Inciter who took control of the paladin and promptly OWNED my face.

What happened to the game? Soon we will get Triumph Badges everyday just FOR LOGGING IN.

Amazing how times have changed. Ran Utgarde Keep the other day and barely got a spell off as an elemental shaman because everyone just AOE the targets down instantly. Mage, Hunter, and some Retardin. All higher level than me so we blew through it but honestly this cannot be teaching good group mechanics to new players.

Had one person in there with their EIGHT YEAR OLD SON. He was a hunter shooting flares on every pull just to mash the buttons. Sums up a hunter nicely I think.

Not sure where this game will be in 2 years but who am I kidding. I will still be playing it…

The WoW LFG System is the greatest innovation in an MMO since 2003

Posted by Abroxus Tuesday December 15 2009 at 11:49AM
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First entry of the Last Chancers guild! <<---OUR URL

Yesterday I was home sick with the flu. Rather I was just getting over it. I was bored. I had nothing to do so naturally I logged into WoW at around 8 am because I can never sleep past 7-8 in the morning.

Since I literally was not going to do anything all day I wanted to see how many instances I could run with the new LFG feature using my rogue. This meant DPS and an average wait time of 6-7 minutes. In between I worked on tradeskills and did some Alterac Valley PVP.

I have recently faction changed back to Alliance. We are starting a new guild there because that is usually the only way I am happy. We will casually raid 10 man content and that is about it. The main reason for this is the constant shennanigans we see taking place in the larger guilds and honestly it was to the point that even when raiding I was sick to death of the people I was surrounded by. That and the blatant favoritism the guild leadership had toward their work buddies.

We formed The Last Chancers as LAST CHANCE to get it right. Some of us are still trickling over with faction changes so it will take a while before we are fully ready to start recruiting. Plus our main tank is out a computer until end of December.

To be honest I have the most fun chain running 5 mans. This new LFG system has been a boon to my World of Warcraft play because lack of grouping is usually what killed it for me. You fix that and we got a whole new ballgame and this innovation is the greatest thing since Sliced Spicy Bread.

I started early in the morning with the easy instances. Things that can be done fast because on my server they reset at 10 am and I can run them again.

By 1pm in the afternoon I was approaching enough badges to get new item level 245 shoulders for my rogue (the only character I had switched to alliance out of my 4 80’s).

My rogue was easily topping 4K DPS on the single target bosses but he still needs gear upgrades to compete on a level where I feel he should belong.

So I ran 11 instances, including the Oculus TWICE. Yes, even the Oculus. They were all random too. That means I got a shitload of badges. The first Oculus run was massive fail and we broke apart at the last boss. I thought I was done with it for the day and it was out of my random rotation but I had forgotten I had run it BEFORE 10 am so it reset and low and behold my last instance of the night was in fact the Oculus.

We cleared it and I got the achievement Make it Count finally after all these months.

On the side I also ran a Onyxia 25 man raid PUG. I knew I would not get loot as those PUG’s are usually full of ninjas and shitty loot procedures so I mainly went for the achievement on my rogue and the badges.

All in all, a great day with just a few minor hiccups in between and only one real douchebag encountered the entire day. This was a guy on 5 man HToC that insisted we keep his AFK buddy in the group so he got credit.

Umm no. I voted to kick him and he was booted. The tank got pissed and I basically said:

“Take off then, we are not here to get your buddy free badges while he doesn’t DPS and we have to suffer 4 manning it.”

He told me to F off or something like that and then left. With the LFG system we had 2 replacements in under one minute and we went on to finish the instance.

All in all WoW is keeping me so busy on ONE character I haven’t had a chance to update the blog much. And this guy is my DPS guy. I haven’t even tanked or healed with it yet which would mean I would not even have time to use the bathroom once I hit the FIND RANDOM GROUP button. First night my tank had a group in 58 seconds.

Blizzard has changed MMO’s with this tool. I used to think that Lost Dungeons of Norrath in EQ1 was the greastest add on ever for its scaling dungeons and random instances. This however, many years later, trumps that by a mile and makes WoW the most complete MMO on the market in terms of grouping, socialization and always keeping busy as well as ease of gear upgrades and casual content.

So get out there and load up on PUG’s and remember:

Always NEED the frozen orbs.