Sidequest: Transformers Universe

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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.

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

Wildstar (Special Episode)

World Tour Fishing (Episode 58)

Sidequest: Adventure Time Battle Party

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Grand Chase (Episode 57)

Off-Week Update (05/24/2014)

So yeah, that didn’t work out as planned.

Spoilers: I was supposed to have the next episode completed by the time I left on my vacation, May 11th. However, plenty of distractions, I’m lazy, blah blah, best laid schemes of mice and men, whatever, no new ep. My bad. Shooting for this upcoming week, if they’d knock off changing the damned game every 15 minutes. Never played a game so old that got so many updates. I’ve already had to make two major script changes because of this.

Recap time!

Episode 56: Scarlet Blade
I think I need to stop attending convention panels. One year I mention TERA and RIFT are still thriving sub games, and both go free-to-play. This year I said I would never look at Scarlet Blade because there was no need to, and here we are. A full episode on the boob game.
I was expecting a lot of people to get a kick out of this one. It was easy to play a humor angle, and toss in jokes because the game is just oozing with material. Hell, there were “jokes” that people found that were never intended as jokes. They legitimately wrote themselves. It’s probably my most viewed episode in a long time, some thanks in part to support from Nash of RadioDeadAir, who tweeted to his followers, and also aired the episode on his liveshow.
However, and I have NO IDEA why I was surprised by this… a set amount of staunch defenders of this game, not like the previous time where I was slighting the game as a game, admittedly not giving the game a fair shake, which I have since admitted the game is perfectly competent and a bit of fun. No, they had to defend the one thing I didn’t think anyone WAS going to defend.
The perversion. The ridiculous outfits, oddly proportioned women, and the constant immature sex puns. The things almost everyone mocked. Their defense? “There’s nothing wrong with sexuality.” You’re right… there isn’t. Too bad this isn’t sexuality, it’s click bait. The metaphorical “Carrot-on-a-stick” in order to get you to keep playing the game. To defend something so shameless and pointless is baffling. I can’t help but feel it’s the demographic that this game is catering to, too smart to simply play the game at face value, but too ignorant and inexperienced to see the game for what it really is. I could go into detail here, but I had myself one hell of an angry, curse filled rant on my Tumblr page in essence to counter this oddly common detraction. People agreed. Thankfully. Others got offended. GOOD.
For those not willing to click, I’ll just take my favorite line from that rant: “This game isn’t porn. This game isn’t even Softcore porn. This is two circles with dots in the middle scrawled onto a bathroom stall. This is a calculator with the number 5318008 on the screen, turned upside down.”
If you somehow take mockery of this game with deep personal offense… you must be hella fun at parties.
 Remind me never to hang out with you.
For those who are willing to admit it’s just a big ball of shameless stupid, and aren’t trying to accuse me of some strawman agenda, welcome to my side. We have a dance club.

Sidequest: Dead Island Epidemic
I was putting this off, and putting it off… and putting it off. Mostly because I was waiting to play alongside the guy who gave me the key, and subsequently had his PC shit the bed on him. Well, it comes down to us finally getting a look at it, ready to mock it and all it stands for and… god damn it, I was having fun. This game actually removes a lot of the MOBA style strife that… Strife, thinks it’s able to overcome, but getting rid of a lot of the more annoying aspects.
No “mana pools”. You can choose the same character. The gameplay is easy to understand. There’s a single player mode that’s not just you versus bots. There’s no “towers”, no “jungling”, no match items to purchase, no real “meta” of any kind.
If there was any downside it’s they it does feel a bit pay-to-win. The alternate versions of the characters actually feel stronger than the original versions, the weapons you can purchase give a serious boost, and if the price point and difference of each one is any indication, it might be intentional. It could use some serious balancing… if that isn’t, in fact, the plan. At the very least, there’s still single player. I could probably stand to go a few more rounds in this.

Quick updates, the Patreon is going along nicely, finally once again breaking the 200 mark, and steadily climbing toward the next perk. I do have to give a quick shout out to one of my Patrons, who will identify themselves if they wish to, who is having health issues which, thanks to the wonders of the american health care system, are going to set him back a bit with meds. Everyone send him some well wishes!

There will be another Sidequest before the end of this month in addition to the next full episode. I’ve scheduled both for TGWTG, so I have a nice swift boot to my ass in order to get things finished. Let’s see if that helps.

Finally, despite missing the last two SMITE Nights, there SHOULD be one tomorrow evening, standard 6-9pm time. There will be Siege Mode matches, and Tebble matches will be kept to a minimum since they cause nothing but hate and rage… which I am to understand is the intention. I haven’t played once during the double Favor weekend… I guess I felt it more important to go to Build-A-Bear and get a Toothless plushie. Priorities.

Pics and an article from a certain portion of my vacation are coming soon… mostly because I didn’t get any time to allow filming for my original idea, and had to sneak a bunch of photos because they apparently frown upon that. Will get that tossed out shortly as well. Stay tuned.

Sidequest: Dead Island Epidemic (Closed Beta)

Scarlet Blade (Episode 56)


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