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Observations, some research but mostly observations.

Author: enzyme

out from the cellar and sitting in the back of the room while the crowds rush forward.

Posted by enzyme Friday April 13 2012 at 11:21PM
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Wow, I haven't posted a blog since 2k8 damn, where does the time go?

So it's finally happened. SWTOR had launched, The Secret World and Guild Wars 2 is right around the corner. We have Dust 514 and Class 3 and 4 coming to consoles. A lot to look forward to.  I've been lurking the forums, but not really active, just checking in on odd games because I tend to bounce around a bit.

Will I purchase GW2? probably, TSW? probably, Dust? of course! (free to download, never hurts to try)

Once again, trends and patterns emerge in the years, then months, then weeks closer to any release date.

The one thing I am avoiding is developer blogs, featurettes, websites, email newsletters, etc. Why? I think it's because I want to be pleasantly suprised by what's on the horizon. Not going in with a ceiling of expectation that any of these games just aren't going to hit at launch.

The hype train for GW2 is screaming along, for TSW it's getting ready to leave the station, and Dust the train is still being sorta built, but close to departure. Now I just sit back and listen for the massive derailment on launch day.

A lot of us here have gone through this cycle time and time again either to be A) very happy with the title, or B) we are miserably dissapointed and upset that the game we were going with just didn't hit the mark for us. Are we aware of this pattern we put ourselves through?

By trying to avoid the hype and keeping my expectations low, will hopefully raise my level of enjoyment for the games yet to come or maybe this is my way of just saying "I'll wait for the review".

the blessing and curse that is teamspeak/vent/VoiP

Posted by enzyme Friday March 7 2008 at 9:11PM
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I've been finding myself increasingly frustrated with anything involving voice chat for games.

On one hand it's an invaluable tool for working together with your team, great chats between players etc.. When I am in a good group, room, whatever, I always think this is great, I love Voip and can't live without it.

On the other hand, it's pure, unadulterated stupidity. I have been reduced to a distracted bystander, not an active participant in whatever is going on in the gameworld, match, multiplayer confilct..whatever. Kind of going through the motions and trying to pay attention to what's going on around me in time to the interweb's greatest hits of "how wasted I am" , "you are gay" , "blatant racisim".....and many many more! (act now and you can also get the classics of "children singing in your ear" and "STFU infinity loop remix").

I know a lot of guilds/clans/outfits/corporations require this feature from their members. I was lucky enough awhile back to get into a L2 clan that wanted it, but didn't force me to use it. I usually do my best to pay attention to what's going on to make sure whomever is healed, assisted, repaired etc.

The minute anyone asks me if I have a mic, I cringe and shudder in terror. While I understand the request, I just don't want to use it. To me it just removes that escapist filter, and supplants me back into reality.

Reality, just the place I want to be in when I log into my virtual fantasy world.



Open beta - Opening the floodgates to hell.

Posted by enzyme Thursday October 11 2007 at 11:40PM
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As like every other avid MMO fan, I am always on the lookout for the open/closed beta signups for games I am really interested in.

While under an NDA for closed beta no one can even whisper their initial impressions, while this is standard operating procedure, most beta "testers" will take a wait and see approach until the game goes into open beta stress testing. For example, Tabula Rasa. I was in closed beta, and I continue to play in open beta and report bugs as I come across them. I am doing my job as a beta tester. I have watched this game go from just ok, to craptastic, to something actually fun and enjoyable. Enjoyable enough to me to warrant the subscription cost  and to change my pre-order from the standard boxed edition to the collectors edition.

A lot of mmo vets are playing the game and digging it which is great. Now before the Tabula Rasa SUXXORZ gremilns come out to play let me make my point.

Once the open beta started the floodgates opened up and the majority of the people who have set the bar wayyy too high and have had their expectations crushed or didn't dig that deep into the game are bashing the crap out of it. You guys too, like me are entitled to your opinion.

But doesn't this all sound too familiar with another recently launched mmo with big name game designer recognition? (Vanguard).

But Tabula Rasa, just like Vanguard have found it's audience, so there will be people playing the game whether or not your head is on fire while jumping up and down screaming how bad the game sucks in your eyes.

While Garriott didn't revolutionize the genre, he did take it down a lesser beaten path and created a unique game in a market flooded with fantasy, can't fault him for that. At this point it's going to be hard for any developer to compete with WOW, or even EQ2. The aformentioned games have very dedicated playerbases, and just like the rest of the world, different strokes for different folks.

You can also never put all of your eggs in one basket in regards to any MMO.  I agree that we all deserve a certain level of stability, content and quality at launch, but not everything that is promised by the PR dept. Developers have milestones they have to meet to get paid, publishers have ship dates to meet so they can get paid and get their quarterly expectations in line, so it's never all going to be there or work as intended at launch. This is something that WE need to understand. Patches will be steady, game updates will happen, and if any game warrants it, expansions will be made. So I wouldn't sweat it.

Open Beta, Closed Beta, 3 months after launch, it's still broken. It does offer a glimpse of what the game might eventually be, but it's definately not a way to try before you buy. Exercise a little patience and wait for the trial, you will be doing yourself, and your community mates a favor.

I expect the same swirling crapstorm to hit once HGL goes into open beta, or when the NDA is lifted. 'Cause you know, history has an uncanny way of repeating itself in the MMO world ;).

Now back to your regularly scheduled discussions consisting of whether or not GW is an mmo, how people are still pissed over SWG (I too played on day one guys, time to move on), and how WoW is teh bestest game evar cause Chuck Norris and Leeroy Jenkins said so.

Attack of the Pre-orders!

Posted by enzyme Sunday October 7 2007 at 9:57PM
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At my age you figure you're a little beyond Xmas lists, and with the yearly avalance of games that starts in August, well, you can't really call it an Xmas list now eh?

I am pretty much pre-orded up through January, so here goes:

Half-Life2: The Orange Box (360)

Call of Duty 4 (360)

Mass Effect (360)

Tabula Rasa Collector's Ed (PC) (it has it's issues, but I have to say I am having a lot of fun with this)

Hellgate London (PC)

The current consoles.

Posted by enzyme Sunday October 7 2007 at 9:48PM
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While an avid PC gamer, I also like to dig in and enjoy console games. I was never one to deny myself a good gaming experience due to any ties to any specific brand or platform. So today I just wanted to state my opinions regarding what's out there now.

Xbox 360 - A really unified online platform. Friends lists, achievements, downloadable content, etc. all in one place. Small but growing library of quality titles. So far I am pretty happy with it. The only real problem I have with it is that it can run a little on the noisy side, and it outputs a lot of heat. There's something here that keeps people coming back.

Playstation 3 - I lucked out and picked up a used 20gig not too long ago. The online implementation for it just feels cheap. It's left up to the individual developer I assume. For example, Motorstorm, when you launch the game, the online option is greyed out, or unavailable to select, at this point I have to enter any other main menu option, exit, then the option is available. With all the updates for both the game, you figure this would have been fixed by now.

I think it's a brilliant piece of hardware, it's whisper quiet, bluetooth implemented really well, but now I have this awesome piece of hardware, but very little in the way of software. Resistance, Warhawk and Motorstorm I already own. Just waiting for something else now. A high cost of admission to a possible double feature at the moment.

Wii - While no real online whatsoever, I currently feel like it's omg this is sooo cool is really starting to wear off. I play Metroid Prime: Corruption in 15 min increments, just like the large assortment of mini-game collections that either come with the system (sports), or when you pick up an extra controller (wii play), or that are freely available on the store shelves. Wii does the job of casual and pick up and play really well, but I have yet to find the deep wii-centric experience that will keep my ass glued to the seat for more than 15mins.

Hardware wise, it's a very well built system, little noise from the disc drive when reading on occasion, but overall whisper quiet and well designed. Here's a tip, if you leave WiConnect on, after a while you will be able to fry an egg on the system, since there's no real online implementation, I just keep it off for now. Affordable.

Next entry I will swing back into mmos.