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.
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.
Alright, let’s get a gap between official episodes before I spend the day grinding away at finishing the new episode before I either finish it tonight, or my heart explodes from all the caffeine I am forcing myself to drink.
I thought I was pretty cut and dry here. Wildstar is a traditional style MMORPG with non-traditional art direction, that’s in the hands of the worst possible company to publish them. Worse than EA. Yeah, I said it. NCSoft has done borderline nothing to promote the game, and only recently have I been told that there was a marketing push. In Boston only. For Pax East. Then it stopped. So yeah. No real change there.
There’s this prevalent air of traditionalism lurking in Wildstar. It’s like the dev team, who admittedly worked on some of the most iconic (and traditional) MMOs on the market, WoW and Everquest 1 and 2, locked themselves up in a bunker and started work on this game in 2006, never once peeking their head out to see if there was any market shift. No reticle combat option? Sure the skill shot thing is a bit unique, but it’s still very “target and click skills”. Two faction war. Set classes. Skill trees. Kill X, gather Y. It may not be as “cloney” as SWTOR was, but you’ve played this game before. Trust me.
There’s this odd “two game competition” going on between the fanboys of Wildstar and TESO, I’ve noticed, which tends to happen when two MMOs are due out around the same time. Though comparing TESO to Wildstar is like comparing Coke to Mountain Dew. They are both “soda”, but these aren’t just two different companies, they are two different FLAVORS. If anything, due to the rampant traditionalism, Wildstar’s biggest competition is going to be World of Warcraft… especially with the upcoming graphical upgrade making WoW look pretty damned close to Wildstar’s art style.
Also, Wildstar being advertised on fucking TRASH CANS?! Are you trying to tell us something, NCSoft?
The 1v1 me bro Tournament Finals
So after three grueling weeks of competition, we finally… don’t have a winner. Yes, in a stunning upset, Tebble was not proven invincible, and taken down in the final round by LDJoy, who fought back through the loser’s bracket after losing to RolloT. Next match will probably conclude this upcoming SMITE Night to decide out winner, since Tebble technically has to lose twice in order to be out. The playlist of the remaining matches can be found here if you are interested. (My match against Tebble is a rather interesting watch, partially for the gameplay, mostly for the yelling RolloT does.)
Digimon Masters (Episode 55)
This one… took a while. It was tough because as I mentioned before… I have no nostalgia with the title, and beyond that factor, there’s really nothing in this game. It’s there for the pet collectors, and progression feels… stale. Pointless. I wasn’t even sure if there was anything at stake, and it sure didn’t feel like there was. Still it holds a lot of attnetion for those that love it, and letting Dabeer and SonicRose take the reigns really helped keep this from being a 15 minute episode of me yelling “I don’t get it.” over and over again. This is also pretty similar to what I am doing in my Patreon for the “Raid Leader” and “Beta Tester” Patreon tiers, as well as a push to better involve my community in the creation of these episodes. It’s not ALWAYS going to be necessary, but having more than just me giving insight to a certain game helps along the fact that people will have differing opinions, but mechanics and gameplay is the same no matter who you ask.
Oh, that theory for the chat filter blocking “monkey” and “SM”?
“Monkey” has been used as a racial slur on many occasions, and SM in sequence is “S and M”, a.k.a. Sadomasochism. Considering this is a “children’s” title, the company was probably trying to block as many “offensive” words as they could think of, and with English not being their first language, it probably led to this kind of odd confusion. Take a look at Age of Wushu, for example where you couldn’t say “horse” because “HOR”, which for anyone with a PHD in Curse-ology is clearly NOT how you spell “whore”. There was also LUNA Online’s chat filter banning the use of two innocent letter next to each other because, according to rumor, the letters on a Korean keyboard would spell out a common Korean swear word. All possibilities. All stupid. Babelfish is not a substitute for localization, guys.
Chaos Previews: Echoes of Eridu
“I’m sorry, what?” you might ask. No you didn’t miss this one on site, or Blip. I made this video as a YouTube exclusive to support a game I really want to see come to light, that’s currently on Kickstarter. There, as of the time of this post, 11 days to go and the game just hit their halfway mark, but I’m going to do all I can to get this game off the ground. Again, it’s not in my wheelhouse, which is why I haven’t posted anything about it on here or Blip, but the idea of a multiplayer action Roguelike with the gameplay style of Megaman X has me floored, and I really want to see this game happen. Check out the trailer on Kickstarter, and watch my hands on preview below!
A quick update on the state of my Patreon.
Let’s say I’m doing FAR better than I thought I would, having reached the first and second goal in a matter of days, and steadily approaching the $200 mark. This means (after the first payout of course) that work on the first and second goal will commence. The first goal being “More Streams” which planning is in the midst of right now.
The plan for streams is for a Wednesday, Friday and Sunday schedule. Wednesday will be The Secret World streams dubbed “The Immersion Break.”, Friday will be a preview of whatever game I’m currently working on called “The Strea-view”, where I’ll take and field questions (a community mod would be highly appreciated during this time. Sunday, of course, is still “SMITE Night”. Ideas for other days and streams will come eventually, with another idea of mine, called the “Strea-wind” where the community votes on a game we all played/I reviewed previously and we marathon the hell out of it. In that case it would be likely any off-week Tuesday. In fact, there’s something special planned coming up soon, if we can decide on a time.
As for now, stay tuned tonight or tomorrow for the next full episode of MMO Grinder…. You won’t want to miss it.
There was a decent turnout to last night’s Community SMITE Tournament, ridiculously titled “1v1 Me Bro!”. Here’s each match spectated by myself and RolloT.
If you don’t want to watch the matches, and just see the results, you can find them here: http://challonge.com/smitenight
We will be back next week, at 6pm-9pm Eastern Time, to continue the tournament. Yes, I am well aware it’s Easter.
Next week, matches will include myself, RolloT and HopeWithinChaos.
Well, it’s closer this time, at least… Yeah, it’s been a LONG while since I’ve done a full episode, but rest assured there’s work being done on the new one… and not all of it is by me. The overabundance of Sidequest and mini-sodes isn’t about to cease, though. Until then, let’s look at what’s new.
Sidequest: Tales Runner
There’s always something nice about seeing a once dead MMO make a comeback, even if you’re not personally a fan of it. (Don’t let that be inferred as me stating I don’t like it. I know how ya’ll be.) Tales Runner wins hands down in the uniqueness factor as I’ve not played a single game that controls or plays like it (“Mario Kart clone” is a bit of a stretch when you actually give it a hands-on shot. Trust me.)
The biggest issue I see forthcoming is the community. This game is attracting the painfully annoying crowd that feels you must play a certain way, mocks new players for not knowing maneuvers that aren’t covered in the tutorial, or prefer playing in the “no fun allowed, guys” modes and tracks, disabling item usage and playing on tracks that have little to no traps or obstacles. Those were honestly the most frustratingly boring matches I was in, as the minute someone gets ahead they STAY ahead, and there is physically no possible way to catch up to them if they don’t hit an obstacle themselves. While there was few instances of the Brick-Forcian “GOGOGOGOGOGOGO” crowd, evidence was there as most players entering a room would leave within several seconds if the match didn’t start.
It’s unquestionably attracting the infamous Rumble Fighter crowd, and this could potentially explode out of control as Rumble Fighter will be shutting down on May 23rd. Of course, maybe that means they’ll ALL be going away, but I really don’t see it happening like that. Friends-Lock this game if you don’t want a headache.
World Builders, Minecraft clones, what have you, are becoming increasingly popular and common nowadays, and this is probably the first instance of this kind of game not being utilized entirely by the indie scene. Instead with SoE at the helm, we might actually get the first true intended hybrid of an MMO and a World-Builder. (Because the combat system in Minecraft is absolutely terrible, and every mod built around using it, subsequently so.) As of now, it’s pretty much a very slow creative mode sandbox… but with some serious creativity potential.
The main debate is how this game ties into Everquest… if at all. As I mentioned before, this game was called “Everquest Next: Landmark” before dropping the EQ title. It is technically part of the Everquest Series, but as explained by the devs, the freedom to create would break immersion faster than a lack of fall damage when your human decked out in fantasy gear walks past a mech station and a McDonalds. Still, the talk of how Landmark will, if at all, tie into EQN is a bigger topic for debate than whether or not Elsword has anything to do with Grand Chase.
I think there was some confusion when it came to what I was saying when I asked about interest in revisiting the title. In more than one place I got comments similar to “I don’t watch videos of other people playing video games” or “I love those Minecraft LPs!” which I’m guessing means they outright assumed I’d be turning Landmark into some sort of ongoing “LP” series. I would not. I honestly not even remotely sure how people could jump to such a bold conclusion, when the exact quote asked if people would want to “see more videos through additional Sidequests with every major update.” That’s all I mean. Combat system gets implemented? New Sidequest. Progression system revamped? New Sidequest. TBH, I don’t understand how people can just watch focusless videos of people playing Minecraft either.
(April Fools) Browser-Based: FlapMMO
LOL. Yes. This is a real thing and I put it together in about an hour. It was actually a backup plan, as my original few plans, once again didn’t go the way I wanted them to. I’d known about the game for a while, but it was suggested I do it as an April Fools joke. I figured it wouldn’t be all that hard to do. I’d tell you my alternate ideas, but that would spoil potential things for next year.
I also make it my personal rule not to make AFD jokes blatant trickery (At least two other Channel Producers had titles and titlecards for things that their audiences desperately wanted to see them review, to instead bait-and-switch with something else.) I piss off enough people just doing this show, and I’d rather make people laugh on AFD, than get their hopes up and shatter them. Maybe I’m doing it wrong…
Yes, there was a lot of truth and personal feelings in that rather harsh ending to the video. I guess, unlike fad memes of the past, this one directly annoys me due to the fact that it was simply a big ball of nothing made out to be the greatest game in the world. I do not find Flappy Bird to be addicting, fun, or even worthy of more than a passing glance. It’s an endless runner, a boring one at that, that just got lucky to be exploiting three of humanity’s worst traits. Celebrity recognition, “Just one more” addiction, and “Forbidden Fruit” syndrome when, as stated, the creator’s own crippling fear of success caused him to pull the title from the market. It’s not hard; it’s based entirely on rhythmic button presses, timing, and endurance. The only challenge comes from how long you can play it before you want to stab yourself in the eye. All that bragging about Flappy Bird high scores is going to feel as silly as telling people you they were in a Harlem Shake video, naming their guild “Gangnam Style”, or asking people what the fox says in about a few months time.
Saddest thing? When looking for an image for that video’s title card, you know what one of the first results said? “FlapMMO Hacks”
Really? Really?! WHY?! For WHAT?!
My Patreon Page
So this is finally a thing I’ve been battling with myself to put up, due to the endless stigma behind this kind of thing. However, I’ve felt it a slight necessity for quite a while now. Instability is a huge part of all of this. I’m at the whim of whatever CPM and ad campaign is running, whatever totalitarian system Youtube is unleashing upon its users that week, whether or not Blip wants to get bought out by yet another company and break its servers for the 15th time that month. I’ve also had plenty of people ask me if I accept donations, due to the fact they prefer to run adblock. Patreon seemed like the best compromise.
Hopefully those willing to contribute find the goals clear and concise, and if you have any questions on how it works, feel free to let me know. However, if you don’t wish to, or cannot, one thing I don’t need to hear is “Sorry, I can’t donate because…” Honestly, I really don’t need to know that. If you can’t, or even don’t want to, it’s your prerogative. At no point do I want people to feel they have to do this, so you don’t owe me anything. Not even an apology. This is merely an option for those who wish to do this. Nothing more.
One of my major goals with this? Getting the community much more involved and far more rewarded. Not every MMO should be solo’d after all.
In the meantime before the next full episode, we’ve been running steadily in The Secret World, running SMITE Nights over on my stream and are planning for an upcoming 1v1 tournament. Details on that in the forums and an official post will be made soon.