Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mass effect 2: Arrival - [Spoiling]

After having cleared my evening (and reserved the house tv, so Mrs dwism was banished to do other things) I was all set for an evening of Mass Effect hype.
This was to be the last DLC before the big and final ME:3 chapter hits the stores. Ohboyoheffingboy!

An hour and a half later later I was starring at a black screen. Game over. My brain was left processing two thoughts: "Did I just pay 560 MS points for an extended commercial for Mass effect 3?" and "Did I just pay 560 MS points for something that lasted an hour, tops?". It wasn't so much the price-tag, more than the feeling of letdown. There was no real story here, that I could not have gotten from watching a 35 seconds add for the game. This was not a game, so much as a "aren't you hyped for the 3rd game" type of deal. And if my frikking *commercial* had been free, I'd been euphoric about this. I enjoy a good hype now and then. But to have payed for no content what-so-ever (Well some content, there was one firefight where you had to survive loads of waves, that was a great deal of fun... if only I'd have a chance to replay it), but in fact have payed for an advertisement, has left me a little sour and feeling a lot of resentment for having voted for Bioware in the March Mayham competition on the escapist.

Because, honestly, what kind of a complete tool would ever vote for a company shitty enough to have their costumers pay to watch advertisements?´

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Decieved

Our time has come. For three hundred years, we prepared. We grew stronger. While you rested in your cradle of power, believing your people were safe and protected. You were trusted to lead the Republic but you were deceived, as our powers of the Dark Side have blinded you...
You where deceived and now your Republic shall fall.

Ohboyohboyohboyohboy
Guess what Amazon-package I just received today. The first book was pure awesome, way better than any WoW fiction I've read (maybe the Shattering came close)

Now I know what my weekend will consist of:



Ohboyohboyohboyohboy

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dragon age 2, forced team-mates

(this contains a semi-sort of spoiler)

in this opinion-piece I'll talk a wee bit about dragon age 2. This will assume that you have played the first game, or at least know of it... or the gaming term: holy trinity.

There is one person in Dragon age 2 that I do not like: Anders. More on that little whiny sourpuss later.

First Spinksville has a very accurate writeup about this game that very much is on the same wavelength as my initial impression is... on. Read that if you want positives. Because the game is fun. If it was not for this little whiny prick
"Ugh, do we have to do stuff, can't we just mope around?"

 Argh, I hate you Anders. Stop ruining my game.

"But Dwism" you might say "why not just ignore him and play with another group setup?"
Because he is the only frikking healer available, since I rolled a warrior. Nobody told me, I'd only have one mage available who had healing powers. And you *need* a healer with you, at all times. Maybe unless you play at the easiest mode. But otherwise, you will need a tank and a healer with you, in order to make it anywhere.
This is why the "we only have one mage with healing options" pisses me off, so much.
How come I don't get a say in who I want with me?

Just look at him. Ugh.

But otherwise the games great.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Halp I'm being blackmailed!

...Or at least that is what it feels like.

A couple of weeks ago The Escapists magazines "extra credit" team launched a fab vid called 'An open letter to EA marketing' I've briefly touched on this in regards to how Biowares Facebook page demanded its fans to share facebook updates to all their friends in order to unlock special in-game items.

It felt weird. It did not work.
http://www.facebook.com/BioWare
They, however, kept going. Here is the latest attempt:

Take note of my twitter profile, I talk even more gibberish there so ofc you have to follow me too!!
...First off: Mass effect 2? You have a frikking teaser trailer out on ME3. again, weird.

Secondly, shouldn't we *want* to retweet stuff, that is interesting? and secondly, why are you taking your fans hostage in order to get em to advertise your games for you?

Most of my Facebook friends, do not give a flying bat-shit about mass effect images. Seriously, my 85 year old grandma' isn't going to go out and buy an xbox and play ME... although that would be grand.

Point is, the people who could care about this, in my social circles, are either already aware of this, OR i'll make damn sure they are, without your pressuring me to do it.
I am not a facebook or twitter slut, selling my identity and friends over free stuff. Please please please Bioware/EA THINK.

Right now, I am considering stopping to follow you on any social network *because* of these sort of tatics.
If you want these sort of "social media" type of things work, you have to stick with appealing to the fans, not force em into slave labor.
Make me *want* to tell my friends about your games, not thinking "oh well, I want to see more about your games, but first I have to soil myself in order to get more images, info stuff". Get the difference? In star wars you released a play through of the PAXeast of the Flashpoint "Taral V", *that* i did share with my friends. That was cool, that was something to show, that was something I wanted my friends to see.

Stick to that, and you might get hype on your games without that sour aftertaste.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

How Damion Shubert made me doubt myself

Massively(dotcom) did a fantastic piece on Sw:ToR and how they think about their player base. In particularly on the "loner" gamers.
This is another fantastic piece, that both of my SW:ToR beacons wrote about (Darthhater and AskaJedi ) and I won't really go into detail about the piece in itself. But rather go into a couple of the stereotypes that Mr. Shubert presents, and what they made me think about how I game. Specifically he mentions the "The introvert" and the "unworthy" and the "adrift" (go read the article please, its good and well worth the read and explains these a lot better and clearer than I could). What I am getting to, is that there is a not so unique, mix of the above, that very well describes me as a gamer. And it is one of my biggest fears concerning me starting in a new mmo.

The introvert unworthy drifter

The way I got into my guild (whom btw are looking for rogues and resto-druids and disc-priests and are kicking Arse in 25 manned raids and are realm #1 in guild battle-ground pvp... just saying) speaks volumes on how I am in games.
I was in a little guild called "Mean Drunks", I got invited there at level 5 by the guild leaders Girlfriend who had rolled an alt. I was a dwarf priest, she was low on health. That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. I healed her as I walked by, and she thought "Uh healer! and he is nice!!" so I got a /w if I wanted to join their casual guild. I said yea, and joined.
It took me 3 months before I found out that everyone in guild -apart from one Mage- was from the country as me. That is how socially silent I am around *new* people. People who know me often wonder when I'll shut up...
Anyways, I was happily leveling 20 levels below everyone else. And the Mage from Holland (that was the only guy not from my country) was very much unlike me. He joined the big guild. ("whoa dude, they have 15 level 60s online on an afternoon" he would whisper me). And once I had hit 60, and started dungeons (only with other "Mean Drunks") and got a bit of healing gear, he had not forgotten me. He was very fast to invite me to Zul'gurub on his Big guild, when they where a healer short.

I joined. I healed, I did not whine when I did not get any loot for helping them out. So they asked me to write an application. Icefly (as the mage was called) vouched for me, and the rest is history. I healed through the latter part of vanilla, and through TBC and got rank of just one notch higher of regular member. Then I had my foot in the door (only took two expansions) and I rolled my dream-type of class: a Tank.

What does it mean?
It means that unless I get my friends to join me in Star Wars, i'll be spending my time as a loner. There are a lot of 'typical gamer types' that I cannot cope with. Especially those that claim they are "mature gamers", because in my experience, if you need to claim that you are 'adult and stuff', you never are. Same with 12 year olds. Another pet peeve of mine are gamers who use 'gay' as a description to anything. "that is so gay". urgh.

I can very much be a gamer snob if people rub me the wrong way, for example the type of player who as everyone else say "hello" in a pug, feels the need to epeen all over my dungeon, either by strouting his gear/dps or by belittleing other players.
So, there are a lot of guilds where I will go the "Tam way" and get in a fight with one player, and I will not be pretty. I am very much a grumpy bear, but once i know and respect the other players, I'd like to consider myself a Douglas


Thing is, when you love tanking, but need time to warm up to people, you are very dependent on getting a solid base of players around you, very quickly. So maybe I should take this opportunity to get myself to open up more online. Start chatting with random players, start embracing people you randomly meet.
But then the other thing comes up.

I joined as a healer, and ended up a tank. Those are two classes that are great to play, because if you play DPS your ability (or lack thereof) to play, is very easy to measure. And the results are not always as fun as you'd like em to be. As both my virtual friend Calli and equally virtual Lar'is´´sa found out.
(But between you and me, dear reader, their problems stems from playing mages above anything else).
So I'll stick to playing a tank, thank you very much. In a way there is way less performance demands of tanks, than DPS. *for me*, because I could go into a pug on my alt tank-a-din and be way overgeared for a PUG heroic in wrath, and still get booted because I did not have ICC gear, and then join on my sucky newly dinged rogue and do 1800 dps and not hear a word.
But for me, I'd rather play the tank there, because *I'd* know that my dps sucked, when tanking it is not the numbers that determine how well I play, but only.. how well I play. (Well it makes sense to me).

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Dragon's age II -demo

Things I've discovered since I've quit wow:
- Mythos online is boring
- Rift was good, but if you are tired of wow, this is not the place to go
- DC universe online, however, is a great change of pace. Loads of fun, but made for consoles.

...And I am continually amazed at just how much free time I suddenly have. Look at all those games I've played, and even though many of them where for a very very short while, I've had time to read books and talk to friends and my wife (and her belly).
And I know you all think you know where this is all heading: "thank God Im done with WoW, why did I ever spend so much time with that game."

Well, sorry to disappoint. I wish wish wish, that I was still having fun in WoW. I loved the people in my guild, I adored the Lore (and I'm still capable of showing a certain mage who's Lore ego has grown beyond his capabilities, just what is what!!)

But alas I do not miss playing wow, so I've gone back to my dusty old xbox to game. After a very failed experiment with Kinect (do you realise just how much space that thing requires?), I've gone back to my two old favorite past-times on the the little box that could: Drinking beer while playing gears of war coop with an old buddy, and playing the Bioware legendary series: Dragon age: Origins and Mass effect 2.
And it shouldn't really come to no surprise to anyone who love quality RPG's that I have been playing the Dragons age sequel demo.

In fact. I've played it a little too much I think. First I started playing it with the class combo I usually love (warrior, tank) then I went through every single variety you can play the class/gender combo.
So I have completed it as: male/female rogue with bow, male/female rogue with daggers, male/female warrior with two-hander, male/female warrior with 1 handed sword and shield, and female mage without healing spells, and male/female mage with healing spells.
So I feel pretty confident in giving out my advice on what to play.

Firstly Bioware has gone with their mother-company in the way of *horrible* marketing of the game.
(btw, if there is one link of mine you should follow and see, it is the one above, please please do not rob yourself of "Extra Credits" show on EA.)
And if you chose to play as a female, you get the promise of hot girl on girl action from the black chick, and if you play as a guy, you get the exact same offer. Good thing, she is not choosy. Bad luck of you are a straight woman playing this game.
Oh who am I kidding, at age 29, I am one year away from being to old to play games, because we all know that gamers are male, white, and between 8-29 years old. FUN FACT: Larissa is a fake, she does not really exist.
Secondly, they are marketing the game via facebook with an: copy this advert text to all your friends, and if one million gamers to that, you get an virtual sword.. or book, or something, at the start of the game.  That is not really how facebook works. At least not for me. I doubt any of my friends on facebook are friends with me, because I post commercials on their pages... Hopefully it is for the fun fun "click this if you want to see the scandalous Paris Hilton drinking contest" links that I send em....
I mean, I get the first competition: get a million to download and try our demo, and there is a community reward. That one rocks. The second: *complete* the demo, and you get a headstart weapon. Cool.... But "save us publicity money, by becoming our advertizing whore??? No thank you.

Where was I? Oh right classes. So female is out... or in, depending on whether you want to have naughty conversations with women... or with women. Ehm.
Point is, gender doesn't matter. At least they got that right.

Classes however are much more fun to chose between. But first, a spoiler alert: Depending on whether or not you chose a mage yourself or not, either your sister, the mage, will die, or your brother, the hot-head-warrior, will bite the dust. That way, the game ensures that you will always have a mage, but only one. So make sure that if you make a mage, for yourself, make sure that sis gets some healing spells, or if you are a mage, make sure *you* get some healing spells. Because healers, just like the first game, are extremely overpowered. So you want one in your group.
Secondly, the game hooks you  up with a tank early on. So don't bother rolling one yourself, because two tanks are dumb.
Thirdly: for me, rogues with daggers, do not work. They are not fun, they are underpowered and they do not seem to do more damage than the two-handed warrior (but they die more easily). Rogues with bows, however, rock!
This has as much to do with your groups initial setup, (a dps warrior, a mage [who will heal], a tank and you. This begs the question, are Bioware trying to condition you to roll a rogue? They are the only class with a build in, advantage: they can pick locks, and the group setup is made for bow-using rogues. Only weird thing about em, is that their first level ability is "backflip" out of trouble





And when you compare that to the mages first ability: "Blow an enemy's mind into blubber", it does not seem all that impressive.
But a lot of the class choices, like I said, build on how the demo is set up. I was dead set on getting myself a bow-shooting-baddarse rogue for when the game came out. Until I tried the game again as a warrior, and realised: I cannot hide from what I love, and I love having a big shield and slamming it.

The only great thing about rift for me, and this is a really really REALLY great thing: one ability that their Paladin got: Face slam.
Let me quote the ability description:

Slam a shield into an enemy's face for 175 to 179 Physical damage, modified by Strength, in addition to interrupting casting
I dunno about you, but I get a very vivid mental image, when I read that description. Take that puny spell caster!!

What did I think of the demo overall


Once I got over the fact that I did not need to worry all that much about the demos group set-up and could play what I enjoyed the most, I must say that imo, the game has taken everything right, from the first game, and kept it, and fixed everything *wrong* with the first game.
The "talking scroll wheel" thing works better. No more "I didnt click that" or "what *that* what that meant" moments, that I still have in both Mass effect games, and in the first dragons age.
Ai seems smarter. And I can choose much easier now, whether I want to be the field general and pause/give orders all the time, or just tank plouhg my way through the game, while the others in the group do their damn jobs!

The holy trinity of tank/dps/healer lives very strongly in this game, and I think that is a plus. overall I am looking very much forward to once again getting a game that can consume my whole non-working time.