Onigiri (Episode 62)

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Halloween 2014: Return of the Poll

As was warned at the end of last year, I’m kinda… out… of Horror MMOs to look at, as it’s not exactly a common genre, and that World of Darkness MMO is still in development Limbo.

That doesn’t mean I’m completely out of potential MMOs to look at in the genre, but it does mean I have to broaden my definition a bit.

So I figured, “Here’s three MMOs I’ve heard of that I have an interest in, but not enough to make a decision.” So guess what’s back after 2 years of nothing? It’s poll time!

But before I put up said poll, let me describe the three and what I feel from nothing more than their websites and trailers.

F.E.A.R. Online
I was a big fan of the original F.E.A.R. game, but never followed through with the sequels. I’m really not sure how this game could translate to “MMO form” as it seems to be either a PvP shooter, or a squad based multi-player thing that takes you through a story.
+: Based off a franchise that could actually be scary.
-: Based off a franchise that people grew tired of. Still in Beta.

Dead Frontier
I’m pretty sure I’ve been getting suggestions for Dead Frontier for AGES, but something about it made me keep putting it on the back-burner. Maybe because I kept confusing it with another game with a similar title that was actually a Graphical MUD. As for this game, it seems to be a top-down ARPG like Diablo, but with guns.
+: Closest to the true horror aesthetic. Established.
-: Blah, dull color scheme (even for a Horror game). Market sick of zombie anything. Just did an ARPG with Marvel Heroes.

ZMR! (Zombies, Monsters, Robots!)
ZMR is a bit of a stretch. It’s really more of a tongue in cheek action shooter with emphasis on it’s ridiculous premise, but out of the options given, it might have the potential for being the most fun. Bosses in this game look amazing, and what other game can you take on Anubis with an AK-47? (TSW doesn’t’ count. That was Akhenaten.)
+: Most different of the three. Looks like mindless fun.
-: Least “horror” of the three.

These will be the only options available UNLESS, someone suggests something more suited, and there’s a general presence of players interested in a review of the suggested game. In the event that happens, the poll will be reset with the new options in October. Feel free to suggest something Halloween related, even for the sake of a future review, but make sure to at least vote on an existing option in the poll, even if you have another suggestion. Results will NOT be viewable to the public to discourage blatant upvoting of the poll leader.

DISCLAIMER: IF YOU ARE HERE FROM SOME FORUM OR WEBSITE THAT LINKED THIS POLL AND ASKED YOU TO UPVOTE THEIR FAVORITE GAME OF THE THREE, PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT THIS POLL IS NOT “WHICH GAME IS THE BEST” BUT MERELY A WAY FOR MY AUDIENCE TO DECIDE WHAT GAME I LOOK AT FOR THE HALLOWEEN EPISODE OF MMO GRINDER.
IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT MMO GRINDER IS, TAKE A LOOK AROUND THE SITE AND READ THE ABOUT AND FAQ SECTIONS BEFORE BLINDLY VOTING ON THE POLL. I KNOW WHERE MY TRAFFIC COMES FROM, AND I WILL NOT HAVE ANOTHER CITY OF HEROES FIASCO ON MY HANDS.

Marvel Heroes 2015 (Episode 61)

Mabinogi (Episode 60)

Sidequest: ArcheAge

Backtrack: Firefall

Original Review: Episode 47

Global Agenda (Episode 59)

Sidequest: Transformers Universe

To sign up for Transformers Universe: click here!

Off-Week Update (07/06/2014)

I am well aware I have no reason to call these that anymore. Accuse me of being traditionalist… but more on that later. Let’s get to some recaps.

Episode 57: Grand Chase
Yeah, this was done after a few proddings from some community members, and me constantly forgetting it exists. When Chachera spoke over us playing TSW to inform us that Grand Chase was being discontinued… only to later be relieved that it was being moved to Killer Combo, I kind of took it as a sign to look at it. When I first heard about it, I though it was something akin to Maple Story. A 2D platformer, but in 3D, yet still having a world exploring aspect. When Elsword players on their forums threw a loud fit over the fact people would ever say that Elsword and Grand Chase are related, I figured that the styles of gameplay were so vastly different that they just didn’t want people to associate the two… But the minute I fired it up, all I could think was, “THIS IS THE EXACT SAME GAME!”, and ALL of the self-important, accusatory forum posts came flooding back to my memory, where I had a loud sudden realization of “OH, FUCK YOU.” So yeah, I took quite a few moments to cement the fact that , yes, this game was pretty much the exact same thing, and there was no way to deny that anymore. I can’t stand when an “us vs. them” mentality props up in the same franchise. Especially when a game is so similar. I get why there’s one for Zelda’s Ocarina of Time vs. Link to the Past as the game are two vastly different experiences. This is like taking adamant sides on what’s better, Mario Galaxy 1 or 2, going as far to deny they’re related.
As for the game?… Meh.

Sidequest: Adventure Time Battle Party
You want to know where I heard about this game? Bro Team’s twitter. For those not in the know, Bro Team is one of the few exceptions where someone can scream at a microphone and say awful things, and in this instance, I find it absolutely hilarious. I have my reasons, but I won’t get into that here, as it’s irrelevant to the situation. As one might imagine, his Twitter is mostly the same, just off kilter and nonsensical ranting, but it was the tweet about an Adventure Time MOBA that got me to Googling it… And after confirming it existed, I thought, “Oh, I have to try this.” and after playing it thought, “Dear God, this is way better than it has any right to be…” Of course it is!
At the core, doesn’t everything about it sound like it would be absolutely AWFUL? Licensed title? Check? Based on a title that itself is very well versed in the childish, and irreverent? (Yes, I am well aware of how deep and adult the themes in AT can be. I’ve seen “I Remember You” so no need to “defend” that statement. Doesn’t make it less true.) A MOBA aimed at CHILDREN on a company website?! Yeah, any time you tell someone this game exists, they can’t help but imagine it to be awful… and yet.. it’s really capable, competent, and more importantly, FUN. That’s definitely reflected in the sheer amount of comment that mentioned that thought it would be awful, started it up as a joke, and ended up having a blast. Haven’t played in a while, but always willing to stop back in. I hope it’s doing well.

Episode 58: World Tour Fishing
Speaking of “Oh, I have to try this…”
When I heard there was a full open-world MMO based entirely around fishing, I knew I had to look at it. It didn’t really surprise me that it existed, as hell, we’ve seen tennis, puzzle, and snowboarding MMOs on the show before, and as I stated in the intro, fishing is a fairly popular aspect to a lot of MMOs, but I was mostly wondering just HOW the game would work. It didn’t take long to figure out. Reception for this kind of thing is always mixed, from the “Hey, there’s so many unique MMOs out there!” to “Why the hell would you look at this crap when there’s so many other game.” Sorry, I tend to fall into the former. If you’re here looking for the WoW Clone du jour, please move along. I’m pretty sure I’ve made it clear that I define “MMO” a bit more loosely than most… but clearly not all, people.
The episode itself, for those past the concept, was pretty well received, and even MegaGWolf’s community really latched onto the title.

Special Episode: Wildstar
So.. yeah. Despite the reception mostly seen in the comments, there’s been a few detractions, and very silent disdain toward the video. (“Why debate, when you can downvote!”) There’s been a few “corrections” like claiming Focus works like Mana, which, since I’ve had no hands on with, can’t entirely conform is true.)
Still, on the comment section I’ve started to dread more than Youtube (the one on TGWTG), there was a few very vocal people angry about my rant about the subscription model, another complaining about the mid-rolls that have been in place for well over a year, and one very non-vocal person who spends every day voting one star to tank the rating. Not entirely ruling out the possibility it’s the same person.
And as far as mentioning the Patreon? Get used to it. That episode WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED if it wasn’t for the very generous pledges from the patrons on there. I don’t think people understand the kind of investment that game required, and without the Patreon, and relying only on the returns or the ad revenue, I’ll likely have lost 50 dollars just making it.
I mean it when I say the sub model is outdated and dead. Just look at the sheer number of comments claiming their interest in the game hinged entirely on the sub model. How much more unforgivable that game bugs, gameplay flaws, or quirky, outdated traditionalist mechanics become when you’re forced to pay monthly. I also find it amusing that someone dared to complain that I wasn’t giving Carbine enough credit for addressing community feedback and fixing bugs. (Which technically, I DID in this line: “…beyond some occasional framerate issues that the game has acknowledged, and has been steadily addressing.”)
Oh, I’m sorry. I wasn’t aware the game industry was so terrible that I should be giving special praise to a developer for doing its fucking job. Is that what we’ve become now? A group of players so thankful that a company isn’t trying to screw us over every second of the day, that we sing the praises of anyone capable of doing what they are supposed to be doing in the first place? Here’s a real hint, though… It’s not Carbine you should be concerned with. It’s really not.
Wildstar is a perfectly fine game, but no amount of loyalty and fanaticism, before or after the fact, is going to be the one to save it.
Speaking of things to worry about… The fact you can’t even buy timecards in the NA market, this long after the game was released? Fishy as hell.

Sidequest: Magicka Wizard Wars
I think i was in the midst of browsing Steam, or possibly waiting a Youtube ad when I saw the trailer for this game and thought, “Well, Sidequest is slowly becoming MOBAquest, so why no add another to the list. I was at least glad to see that, like DIE, it’s not something taking the formula so traditionally. There’s also a LOT less to worry about, and as brought up by someone in the Patreon thread of this game, it’s a bit of a dumbing-down of Magicka’s system, which originally allowed you to slot five elements for spells, not just three. Not been much of a reception to this one so far, as there’s not been too much exposure of it, yet.

Streams
I really REALLY screwed up making SMITE Night on Sundays. Let’s just say the long of it means that I originally picked the date because it was a time I knew I was free, weekly. However, that’s no longer the case, and now it’s something I have to plan around. Those savvy enough to note the date of this posting will probably also note this was another night it was supposed to happen, and did not. There’s been a few reasons, but the foremost has been the lack of actual freedom to play this night. The others being my lack of enjoyment when playing custom matches, as they’ve devolved from friendly matches between a few players to constant shout-fests, and places for self-proclaimed experts to show off how good they are by mercilessly destroying the other teams who don’t play at nearly the level they do. If you’re going out of your way to grab double pentakills in a community custom arena, you’re not “good”. You’re a showoff and a coward who clearly doesn’t care about anything but how cool you look. Knock it off, and play at your own level. I’m trying to help people feel comfortable with the game, not scare them off. Due to this kind of crap, I’ve stopped doing custom matches in streams. There shall be no exceptions to this unless it’s a fully pre-planned spectated match. I do miss doing those.
Of course, that’s not the only stream I’ve planned and neglected. Immersion Break, Wednesday’s TSW stream, has been even more sporadic than SMITE Night. This one, time permitting, I’d like to keep getting back into, especially now with the Tokyo content finally being added to the game. The major issue being that, unlike most everything else in TSW, Tokyo is hardly fit for solo content. It’s freaking HARD, and it’s something I’ll NEED someone else to be along on. The problem is that TSW doesn’t lend itself well to full community content, either. While not nearly as many people show up for Immersion Break as they do SMITE Night, it has happened to the point we’ll lose party members in massive quest runs, and it builds frustration for everyone. I think more planning is required for this stream, but it’s a lot of fun when everything goes right.
Any other streams you want to see? Wildstar perhaps?  I’m still paying for it, and it is kinda fun to watch.

The Board and the Community
We may not be the largest online community, but we’re certainly larger than 5, and definitely getting to form our own presence. I still feel I could be doing better to get us organized, though. As I was hoping, there are groups forming and who enjoy each other’s company in games WITHOUT me having to be there. There’s a heavy presence in Warframe, Onigiri, Minecraft, and of course SMITE, for those who have been looking for a crowd to play along with. We’re always welcoming new players, and in the event someone doesn’t make you feel welcome, I or someone WILL take care of it. Homey, as they say, do not play that.
I am not against growth, but I’m not exactly looking to form my own “Angry Army” or anything of that sort. Keep your individuality, please. Never feel afraid to contest me. For the love of GOD, don’t call me “sir”. We enlisted Marines have a saying for that.
I greatly encourage discussion, and I’m afraid the Raidcall channel is kind of overriding the forums at this point. Any feedback on how to make the forums better would be appreciated. Any feedback about anything is appreciated… well, as long as you understand the difference between “feedback” and “inflammatory complaining.”
There are GREAT people in my community and I’ve even had the pleasure of meeting a few of them in real life. There are people who, in the midst of my writing this, did a great deed for me that seriously helped me out with all the crap I had to deal with today. (Seriously thanks. You know who you are.) Hopefully we can continue this trend. Hell, people are already starting to recognize SonicRose just from appearing in so many streams.

Patreon Campaign
I have a hard time talking about Patreon. The stigma remains, and I’ve debating on making a post on this site going into great detail about all I’m using it for, why I’m doing it and whatnot. It’s kind of a catch 22. Want the campaign to go anywhere? Talk about it as much as possible. Want to sound like you’re begging everyone for money? Talk about it as much as possible. I don’t think there’s a balance here.
In quick form, I’ll just say that this has helped me immensely. Clearly I’ve used this to get the Wildstar review completed, and despite me having hovered around the $260 mark for over a month now, the fact I’m close to my “better equipment” upgrade doesn’t mean I WON’T be buying equipment to improve the show. Hell, we’ll see if one of my recent purchases pays off in the next episode.
The conundrum remains. Talk about it, potentially reach more patrons, but be seen as a beggar. Keep it quiet, and go nowhere, but make the people who hate this sort of thing keep their mouths shut.
This is merely something to make things easier for me. It’s not like this show is ALL I have to spend money on, but I promise to make sure every dollar counts. If I manage to reach my 300 goal, that 1k mystery goal will be revealed, and that might make a few people I’ve been speaking to very excited.
Also, I’ve been considering on making a new level that kind of ties into the 1k goal, as well have having found a new system for the 10+ dollar level “Beta Testers” to better see and influence the inner workings of the writing and show process. Wildstar was the first episode to really utilize this, and I loved how it turned out.
Would people rather pay monthly, or per main episode?
So, would you be willing for me to write a major post about Patreon?

Blip vs. Youtube
I really need to keep these up more often, or I’m going to keep having walls of text. What am I, an MMOsite blogger?
I don’t want to be as redundant as I am rather detailed in the post above. (If you’re not registered to the forum, you won’t see it.). It boild down to the fact that Blip might not be the best option going forward. Lots of ads for little pay. Unstable players. All that jazz. Still, I can’t stand how shitty the Youtube community is, but I can’t help but feel that focusing all my embedded content (this site, TGWTG, what have you) would REALLY help in getting the word out. (Or at least stop the “Why don’t u have more views” comments from popping up in every other video I post there.)
Feel free to vote on the thread. Right now, Blip is winning, and it’s ultimately down to you guys to make this decision… Unless I decide to make the switch anyway. I like to consider myself more considerate than that.

Upcoming content? A lot more Sidequests, an FPS made by the company everyone rags on for abandonment issues, and a Patreon Raid Leader requested title. Wish me luck.

Sidequest: Magicka Wizard Wars

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