This is going to be another one of those updates where I forget to talk about something I would have wanted to go on about, so let’s get to forgetting.
The continued descent of FireFail:
I hate liking games so seemingly content on destroying themselves. Red 5 continues to toss out baffling decision after baffling decision, the current “bwuh” of the month being their decision to completely remove… REMOVE PvP from the game until they decide it’s time to focus on it.
One of my favorite quotes in the post is this:
“Our last big attempt was a pure PvP eSports mode, Jetball. While very fun, its a high skill game and doesn’t attract many of our players (less than 3% PvP in Firefall).”
So yes, rather than let their players warm up to the mode, or listen to player feedback about what they’d do to improve it, they decided to take their Jetball and go home. Considering, as I said in the video, the game was originally designed to be PvP ONLY, and this idea of an open-world co-op shooter was tacked on later, this is one of the most confusing decisions I’ve seen out of a developer yet.
Yet, of course, my initial mention of the instanced PvP got a small flood of comments telling me I was “wrong” because the game is “going to be” a purely open-world PvP system, which, mind you, would be the worst idea ever for this game. These comments also made sure to repeatedly insist on this fact, providing no links, references, or sources, but claiming they, of course, KNEW the truth. (Said comments were on Youtube mostly, because… you know.. where else?”)
Speaking of, there are a lot of people claiming I was off about the community, and they’ve never seen that side of people in the game. Maybe your server bracket is really lax, or perhaps you just don’t pay as much attention to it, but that doesn’t mean it’s NOT happening. I’m not the only one who felt this way about the people playing this. Would you rather I relay my most recent story about a player trolling the chat in Copacabana, claiming his frame/class to be better than another, then refusing to use the stock arsenal of that frame when dueling people, because he didn’t want to play on an even field? My theory is thus, if you don’t think there’s a problem with the general community, it’s because you don’t notice, don’t care, are extremely lucky, or… you are that side of the community. Do you honestly think that bullies realize they’re bullies? They’ve already made up dozens of excuses in their heads to justify their behavior, and they don’t see what they’re doing as “wrong.” You’d be surprised how often that same principle applies.
If Red 5 wanted to actively KILL their game, they’d make it an open world PvP shooter. There’s no factions, mind you, so this means that ANY person on the map could turn their gun on you can kill you, and when you consider that Snipers will almost always one-shot a player, and the sheer amount of immediately unreachable places you could hide, it’d be a griefer’s paradise, and no one would be able to play normally. Said people who insist they know the truth have recently switched to saying that it will have specific map areas where players would compete over rarer resources… ok… That’s still not “open-world” PvP, ya know.
Whatever the hell is going on over there, I hope they figure it out before I really feel like that Founder’s Pack was a complete waste of money. I guess what I’m really trying to say here is- Did you see that?… on SIN. Some kind of weather effect?
War Thunder (Episode 48):
Out of the frying pan and into the… “that was an episode?” I can’t wait until the inevitable “Why don’t you review War Thunder” comments I usually get with low fan-fare eps. Not too much was really said about this one across the board, which to be honest does NOT surprise me when I get one of those “bubbles” of MMO fervor. People burn themselves out of these games way too easily… it’s all “OMG OMG PLAY THIS IT’S THE BEST GAME YOU HAVE TO TRY IT!” and two weeks later its, “Oh, that game. I don’t play that anymore… BUT HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THIS OTHER GAME OMG BEST GAME I EVER PLAYED YOU HAVE TO TRY IT”. This is pretty much why I’ve stopped looking at the Suggested MMO List, and I’m still debating the validity of the thing. Let’s just say I seriously had NO idea how vast this market was when I asked people for these suggestions…. Still had a general idea of how psychotic, though…
As for War Thunder itself? Solid title. Use my referral link so I can get me some more Golden Eagles if you want to sign up. Whether you’ll see me in it is another story… mostly because…
Dragon’s Prophet (Episode 49):
God I love broken games. There’s a charm about any title that does something wholly idiotic to amusing effect that makes you want to pat it on the head and say, “There, there, Wushu. At least you tried.” Even when it does something less cute, I can’t get overly enraged at it. “No, Dragon’s Prophet. No! Don’t crash on me… stop locking up my inventory slots! Look what you did! …aww, I can’t stay mad at you.” The key being in the last sentence, for the first puppy/child analogy, “At least you tried.” I stand by the fact that I can wholly respect a game that’s at least trying to be different. People look at DP at face value and immediately go, “Oh, such a WoW clone. Oh, they took that from TERA.” and while I honestly CAN’T figure out where these people are coming from, I at least GET it. DP has a pretty generic setting overall. It’s fantasy. It has dragons, wizards, goblins… zombies? Well, undead is a common staple. It what it’s doing with all of these that brings it to a more interesting light.
Yeah, it’s a fantasy setting, but you can ride, train, battle with, and collect dragons of various “dragon-ness” throughout the land. Half the fun of exploring is discovering what dragons are available and what skills they possess. Any game that grants you a flying mount nearly out of the gate is something worth notice at the least.
Yeah, it’s an action combat system, but it combines the systems of TERA, DCUO, Vindictus and others to create an experience all it’s own. It’s a game that makes you go, “Holy crap, I didn’t know I could do THAT” at nearly every step of the journey, and just when you feel you have a “rotation” down, the game tosses new enemies and new skills that make you rethink how you’re going to approach the fight.
Yeah, it’s full of impractical/shameless outfits and Escher-women you can create with the aid of 5-7 breast focused sliders, but again, just because you can make a woman with gravity defying, torpedo-shaped 44H cups wearing a leather battle bikini doesn’t mean you HAVE to. With the right tweaking you can make your female Guardian a lithe, muscular warrior, or your Sorcerer a waifish, petite spellcaster…. or vice versa, It’s entirely your call. Outfits aren’t all horribly impractical, and even if you’ll find more than a fair share of “Long Pants” that are anything but, you can convert your favorite pieces to costume outfits, and have up to ten switchable sets of them. It’s not nearly as deep as Aion, but whether you want to make your character, male or female, a model or a monstrosity, it’s entirely your prerogative.
Yeah, it’s a buggy mess, and it’s got issues that are still in need of repair, but it’s a fun title, I’ve actively playing and thoroughly enjoy.
We have a guild… it’s a … FEW people from the Wushu guild, and at least far more active than Wushu is currently at the moment. The game is far more casual. If you want to join, keep an eye out, for Grindstone on the Lysaia server. We are already Guild level three, and getting more points every day. Main rule of Grindstone, “Don’t be a dick.”
I’ll be getting episode 50 done fairly soon, but I’m expecting a serious backlash, considering it’s one of those “barely scratched the surface” titles, that’s going to have me missing a lot of detail. I’ll have to invoke the “newbie show/guide” clause again that everyone seems to miss/ignore. After that is the Halloween ep, which will be an official episode this year (like Hellgate was the first year). That’s all I’m saying about that. Hopefully I’ll have the time to finish before/on Halloween.
Following that, I have nothing slated, but I’ll probably taking a bit of a break with what I’m calling the “Backtrack Block” where I’ll try to toss out a BUNCH of Backtrack videos with a week or two. While I have a few slated to look at, suggestions on what you’d like to see wouldn’t be entirely unwelcome. Just don’t… you know… do that thing.
Finally, if you haven’t checked it out yet, I HIGHLY encourage you to take a look at the “Phoenix Project” on Kickstarter for their fan-made spiritual sequel/remake of City of Heroes titled, “City of Titans”. They’ve already hit goal, and have a bunch of plans for the future, so take a look if you’re interested, and I’ll probably write up a full blown post about it sometime before the project finishes its KS run. Stay tuned.
Sign up for Dragon’s Prophet by clicking here!
Come join me in our guild, “Grindstone” on the Lysaia server.
Yeah, it was a slow past month. I have my reasons. None of them are interesting. Let’s get to recaps.
Sidequest: Infinite Crisis:
It’s a MOBA made for DC comic fans. I should just stop talking, since there’s really nothing more to say. I’ll say something anyway. You know when you play games like SMITE, or other MOBAs, and you play the game, “Which LoL champ/DotA hero is this character cloned from?” It’s a pretty petty argument to make, and a lot of the times, especially in games like SMITE, where people tend to grasp at straws. (Anyone trying to say SMITE’s Freya is a copy of LoL’s Kayle has never really played both characters. I’ll give you “Pulse” being similar to “Righteous Fury” but that’s IT.) I understand there are general established MOBA playstyles that work, and sometimes you want your own version of that playstyle and character. However, it’s MUCH easier to play that game with IC. You’d think with the rich history and cavalcade of existing characters the DC universe has, they’d be a bit more inventive. Instead, I could tell a Poison Ivy player that she’s “Zyra” and a Zatanna player that she’s “Lulu” and LoL players will know exactly what to do. The Turbine style re-branding is in full force with that Gotham Heights map, too. Towers in the same place, weird force fields act exactly the same as the “brush”. To be fair, I do hear there’s a second map now live, but the only thing that scares me more than MOBA fanatics are comic fanatics… and one other obnoxious group of fans…
Episode 46: Ragnarok 2:
You know, I’m not entirely sure WHY I did this game. It must have been a whim or something, but yeah, no game has defined the term “nothing special” more than Rag 2, even if i did… SOMEWHAT enjoy it. I didn’t have too much of an issue logging in to play, and with the class change looming overhead, promising a radical change in gameplay, and not even remotely delivering upon it, I was pretty much done. Pretty sure this will be an easy sacrifice when it comes time to clear out space for the hard drive… ah hell, I’ll just do it now. There we go.
In essence Rag 2 was a “popular” episode, but my theory was correct. Most people who played it, played it because they liked the first game, and this wasn’t similar enough to keep their interest, so they just went back to playing that. This is really the ultimate proof of the lack of necessity when it comes to “MMO Sequels” MMOS… don’t work that way. The game is supposed to EVOLVE, not get a reboot in a decade’s time. Guild Wars fans generally don’t like Guild Wars 2. Everquest fans didn’t take to Everquest 2 (to the point the original stayed sub-based longer than the SEQUEL did!).
Yet, all the hype was on Ragnarok 2 when it was new. People would not shut up about how fantastic it was, and then pretty much all simultaneously vanished. They were wowed by the nostalgia, the pretty graphics, and the cute settings, and as soon as the blandness of the gameplay and general lack of innovation burrowed out of their subconscious, they realized it wasn’t worth their time, and just left. Gee, I wonder if that exact same thing is going to happen again with something else… I could probably write an article about this concept alone.
Episode 47: Firefall:
Ah, Firefall. The more things change the more you screw them up. While I am FAR more interested in the game than I was when I first played it… and definitely more than when I second played it, it’s still a pretty hard sell as it’s painfully easy to burn through everything there is to do within a week. I literally just completed the game’s ultimate challenge today (Baneclaw, a summonable raid boss that requires more far more materials then sense to summon.) had earned my own Blackwater Anomaly key within a day, and have nearly maxed out 2 frames. To say the game is getting somewhat boring again is an understatement. Red 5 is just full of baffling decisions as the game goes on. Each patch makes the game run worse than the previous. My server shard has been unable to keep Thump Dump from being invaded due to absurd lagging issues since the Omnicon patch. The new tornado system (which in all technical sense, isn’t different from how I SAID they work in the game, but are different from when I reviewed it) causes the tornadoes that spawn near mountains, nearly impossible to actually impossible to shoot the required shard, and even worse, may spawn the portal in an impossible to reach area if it finally DOES get destroyed, in what the players have affectionately dubbed “Trollnadoes”. To say Firefall has problems is an understatement, and to those who counter with , “yeah but BETA”… it’s an OPEN Beta. DRAGON’S PROPHET was an “open beta” and it’s Alpha level screwups and bugs got that game derided to hell. When you list yourself as an OPEN beta, you’re basically saying to the public “We’re just about ready to go, just help us stress test this game, and iron out the last few bugs, and we’re set to launch.”
The reason I allow Open Beta’s as full episodes is:
A.) They are fully accessible to the public. No different than the game being officially released.
B.) The game will (most often) not change enough to warrant anything I said obsolete, as for the fact I previously stated.
OB’s are stress tests and “last looks” to those of you who also watch “Face Off” on Syfy. You don’t go messing with the core mechanics of the game when you’re in open beta. You’re not supposed to release patches that make the game worse for WEEKS before ever addressing them, even in a statement. A simple “Yo. This patch made some stuff worse. Sorry. We’re working on it.” is all we ask. Otherwise, we’re going to assume that’s the way you want it to work… and we’re going to leave.
I still enjoy Firefall… with others. It’s a game where I want to see these proposed mass events take place, (provided they don’t lag the server to death anymore), but I can’t help but feel Red 5 is making too many odd decisions, and playing too much with how the game works at it’s core. Speaking of other people, my “FYGM” army filled up almost immediately, and before you think that’s a testament to my “popularity” I should tell you that in another pointlessly baffling move, Firefall limits Army size to 20 people. TWENTY. That’s 4 squads! Are you even kidding me right now?
It’s almost to the point I feel hiring Orson Scott Card to do the story was the lesser of the controversial moves they’ve done. (And that’s why I didn’t mention the writer’s name in the video, and if you still don’t know why… use fucking GOOGLE people.)
So, a few other things:
The dreaded RL has all but completely obliterated my Age of Wushu guild, which members heading back to school and college, getting summer/fall/full-time jobs, other just burnt out on the game in one way or another. It’s sad, but it was a good run while it lasted. I haven’t completely lost hope, but I doubt we’ll reach the heyday of… God, that was only last month…. Scary how this all hits at once. The server merger of my server, Black Tortoise into “White Tiger” did go off without a hitch, but it’s understandable how it might be hard to get new players into a PvP game’s server when it’s populated by 5 month veterans on both sides. I still have a FEW codes available to those who play the game (You don’t need to be in my guild or server to get one, BTW.) but I don’t have the time to play beyond my daily spying missions and the occasional School War. I play. I’m AROUND, but it’s not going to be a thrill a minute chat-a-thon that it was last month.
With that in mind, I AM willing to open up our Guild Forum and Raidcall channel to general MMO Grinder viewers in the event we ever want to get a massive group going in a game that would allow it (Firefall, Wushu, Defiance, RIFT, or… Guild Wars 2 maybe? Something that doesn’t limit play to party size.) I would basically have to be pretty selective though, but I think the Wushu privacy is no longer… required.
Finally, I should be good to get the next video out on time but don’t quote me, as I’m debating if I have enough playtime. Things have slowed due to my own personal RL “grind” I’ve been working on, and it’s almost as painful to play as Infinite Crisis.
I call these Off Week Updates out of tradition now, I’m sure of it.
So coming off of a draft that’s been sitting in my draft folder since June 25th, let’s begin.