Sidequest: The Elder Scrolls Online

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Sidequest: Strife

Loadout (Episode 54)

Aura Kingdom (Episode 53)

Sidequest: Hearthstone

Browser-Based: City of Steam

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Off-Week Update (01-21-2014)

I managed to survive MAGFest WITHOUT getting sick? How the HELL did that happen?!

Unfortunately with the polar vortex (yay buzzwords),  botched deliveries, and several dental appointments screwing up  my schedules, my output has been all over the place. Recaps first? Alright, on to the recaps.

Backtrack: Neverwinter
Yes the Backtrack Block episode that wasn’t in the Backtrack Block. This was due to, as I stated, the new class being launched all but a few days into December. I wanted to make sure I got that portion covered, because it’s one thing for a game to update after I do a Backtrack, and it’s another for them to update THAT MUCH. I am still very much saddened by the state of the community. I was figuring that it was going to be a 50/50 endless bickerfight between the roleplayers and the goofballs, but the server merger, lack of RP support from Cryptic, and game’s relative proactive disdain from D&D fans meant the jerks got a hold of this one out of the gate and never let it go. When I say this game has a worse community then Maple Story, I mean it. There are places for reprieve in Maple, but in NW, there is NO escape. Yes, muting the chat is a solution. The point is, IT SHOULDN’T HAVE TO BE ONE.

Sidequest: Dawngate
This was sprang up on me from a viewer (Tebble, to be specific) who told me he had a code for the game if I was willing to check it out. I was severely lacking in Sidequest material, considering TESO is STILL under NDA, and Wildstar is under “special snowflake” limited NDA exceptions, with me being unable to get an answer from Carbine’s press contacts. Regardless, Tebble claimed to have a code, but it wasn’t working, but I didn’t have much trouble applying for a key, and Waystone is giving them out like candy. It really wasn’t a tough MOBA to grasp, and everything I stated in the video applies: It’s competent, has interesting ideas, but it’s hardly groundbreaking. But again, there’s something REALLY weird about seeing wannabe “Major League Gamers” and meta-lovin’ min-maxers shouting at people in a freaking BETA-WEEKEND ONLY CLOSED BETA. For a game with NO TUTORIAL. A game that could completely change the way it plays in the very next patch.
I mentioned I had a theory as to why that is, and while I might eventually write a massive rant on it, it’s pretty much summed up thusly:
MOBA players are nerds being forced to be jocks.
What I mean by this, without everyone preemptively getting mad I used the term “nerds”, despite that being inevitable, is that we have a group of people who normally are not very socially adept, being placed into an activity that requires them to be so. Most “nerds” are introverts. Myself included. We expect things to work a certain way, and tend to rely on ourselves more than others.
In sports, you must play as a team. You must know your team, and your opponents, strengths and weakness, and communicate your strategy in a manner that best benefits everyone.
Us nerds tend to play games where we are the ONLY hero. Sure in MMOs, you have other who help you, but who are the NPCs generally speaking to? Who are they thanking for helping them? We’ve been playing single player games for so long that we are used to being the SOLE reason the world has been saved. If you lose, it’s failure. We’ve failed ourselves, and those who were depending on us to help them. We don’t want to lose. Losing means “the end”.
In sports, SOMEONE has to lose. It’s the nature of the games. There can not be “two winners” in every match. You can play to the best of your ability, do everything as you always do, and STILL end up losing. (Another reason I hate the concept of “the meta” but that’s a separate rant.)
I’ve seen sports coaches talk to their teams after a losing match. They (usually) don’t belittle their players. They understand the team that beat them was just better that day. They talk up all the good things they did, and identify what they did wrong so they improve themselves. They don’t mock a specific player claiming “it was all their fault”, they don’t call the other team names, and they sure as shit don’t get endlessly mocked by the winning team. Being a “sore winner” is just as looked down upon as being a “sore loser.”
Since nerds don’t understand this, they tend to see their teammates as “tools” or obstacles. Perhaps even NPCs. They are other people who must do everything they tell them to do. I understand that there needs to be a “team leader”, and someone to coordinate these moves and let their team know what should and should not be done. The “quarterback” if you will.
The biggest issue is that nearly EVERYONE on the team thinks they are the quarterback. The want to be in charge. They want the glory. They want the satisfaction, and if they don’t get it, well it’s clearly the fault of everyone BUT themselves.
You cannot ALL be the quarterback. For every touchdown pass thrown, there was someone to catch it. For every touchdown ran in by the QB, there were several people blocking others in order to keep his path clear.  Just like you were able to finish off that carry because the tank kept the assassin off of you for long enough, or the healer kept you at just high enough HP to outlast your opponent.
Team games require people to play roles, and not every role gets the glory. Supports and tanks don’t get to ride the top of the scoreboard, but without them, you’re not nearly as capable as you think you are. To quote the Rucks/Bastion announcer pack from DOTA2, “Nobody likes to play support, but everybody likes to win.”
Of course, losing is still something that’s going to happen, and it’s not always someone or something else’s fault. The character isn’t “OP”, “the lag” wasn’t messing up your game (or as often as it tends to get blamed), your team doesn’t “suck except for you”. Sometimes you are just bested. Accept that. Move on to the next match, and don’t be such a pile of shit over it.

Heva Clonia (Episode 52)
I wanted to like this game more than I did. I was thinking it might be a World MMO with a more robust and involved pet system, as the trailer seemed to illustrate. Instead, it was a fairly no frills beat-em-up styled game with no real challenge. There’s amusement to be had, but it wears thin pretty fast. Scary that I’ve had more to talk about from my mini-sodes than my main ones.

Browser-Based: Kart Rider Dash
I was surprised this game was still around when I found it. It’s not exactly like it was as a client download, but still a fairly solid racer for what it is… This was also the last video of mine to appear on Blistered Thumbs (good thing since people were using the comment section of that video to complain about BT before the shutdown announcement), with the remainder, including this episode, to appear directly on TGWTG. While I know most people reading this tend to leave comments here, if they leave comments at all, I wouldn’t mind receiving comments on there as well, mostly to show there are people actually watching it on there. I have yet to put a full episode up there yet, so we’ll see how this goes.

Sidequest: Aerena
This game snuck up on me, brought to my attention my MegaGWolf, who asked me if I was interested in looking at the title. I tend to like turn-based strategy games, despite being pretty terrible at Advance Wars (Prefer Sami in AW, AW2, AW:DS, Lin in AW:DoR) and never properly finishing any of the Fire Emblem games. I have to say that the developers are very cool, as well. I streamed a few matches a while back, only to find out the player I was against (and unable to beat) was one of the developers, and we proceeded to chat for a while. Another developer commented on the video itself, offering up a way to obtain a key for those interested in trying the game out. If even remotely interested, I highly suggest checking it out.

Recaps over, time for some quick news.

I’ve been working more and more on forming a community, and the community board at mmogrinder.boards.net is taking off quite well. We are up to 100 members already (Far more than I was expecting for a board we originally made for Age of Wushu.) We are also getting more regular streams going, including SMITE NIGHT on Sundays, and some random Secret World excursions. Feel free to join up if you’re interested. There’s plans for other games going within the community as well, and SMITE is pretty active in the board and Raidcall.

My schedule is still in a bit of a shambles. After talking with a former developer of another game I was interested in doing, and finding out the direction it went in, I decided to downgrade it from full ep to Browser-based. It should come out sometime this week. As for the new full ep, I decided to upgrade something I was going to do as a Sidequest but as I mentioned elsewhere, Aeria’s idea of a Closed Beta last all of a week and is full access. Since the game in question is on open beta now, it qualifies. Hoping that gets done before the end of the month. If only I could stop making dental appointments.

Sidequest: Aerena Clash of Champions

Browser-Based: Kart Rider Dash

The MMO Grinder 2013 Year In Review

WARNING: DESPITE MMO GRINDER BEING A SHOW THAT DABBLES MOSTLY IN OBJECTIVE REPRESENTATIONS OF THE GAMES REVIEWED, THIS ENTIRE LIST FEATURES THE HOST’S OPINIONS AND SHOULD BE TREATED AS SUCH (I.E. “WORTHLESS”). READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED, AND STOP BEING STUPID. I’M ALLOWED TO LIKE AND HATE THINGS.

It’s that time again, time for my totally subjective list in no particular order, where I’ll be listing several of the games I’ve reviewed and events of the year, along with arbitrary “awards” that have no meaning other than a reason for me to talk about them more. Remember all games looked at BEFORE January of 2013 will not be counted, and Maple Story is STILL my highest viewed video. Click the “more” tag below, to start, and thus begin the new rage.

Read the rest of this entry

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