Off Week Update (12-29-2012)

Ok, now that’s I’m gearing up for MAGFest again, I can at least tell everyone right off the bat I most likely won’t have a full MMO Grinder episode for the next due date. But as I said before, I’m not going to neglect any forms of content, and no, an Off-Week Update doesn’t count as “content.”

In past episode news, let’s go over RaiderZ, which actually had a fairly pathetic showing. I guess people only care about games like that when they are brand new. I’ve been hearing a LOT of people tell me that I “forgot” to mention the lag in combat… Well, I “forgot” to mention that because I never experienced it.  I do forgot a lot of my audience isn’t from the U.S.,  and some games, especially action heavy ones, tend to be more unresponsive to those playing overseas. It makes sense, but why one would IMMEDIATELY draw the conclusion that the game itself is laggy baffles me. I never had a problem with it, and I didn’t think it was a big issue. In general I thought the game was fun, and had no idea so many people took issue with it. A few others also blame the lack of attention apparently being paid to Rusty Hearts on the fault of Perfect World focusing it’s efforts on RaiderZ. I… I don’t know, but that does remind me that RH is overdue for a Backtrack.

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!

I AM comfortable enough talking about the response to the Mechwarrior Online review, seeing as how there’s really only two major talking points I’ve noticed.

  1. The crosshair confusion
  2. The validity of Trial mechs

1.) I hate when I draw a conclusion from an explanation, that’s not inherently wrong, but still not correct. To put it another way, when it comes to the crosshair system, I was wrong for the right reasons. In the review I stated that the “circle” crosshair reticule is assigned to your energy and ballistic weaponry, while the “cross” crosshair is assigned to your missiles. While I was not technically wrong in pertaining to the mech I was driving, the reasons weren’t correct. (Those watching it now will note I’ve since amended it to explain it better) The circle is your “arms” crosshair, and in many mechs, the weapons I stated are attached to your mech’s arms, while the cross is your “torso” crosshair, and you guessed it, it usually contains your mech’s missiles. The problem is not ALL mechs have arms, nor necessarily follow this pattern, and it’s possible to have a laser or gun hardpoint available on your mech’s torso, meaning that you would need to aim the cross, not the circle, in order to hit with those weapons. Again, a slight and not entirely incorrect confusion on my part, but still something I felt I needed to amend in the video.

2.) Man, this is turning out subjective as hell. I stick by what I said, the trial mechs are terrible. They overheat when you fire more than twice. They seem completely incapable of causing any real damage to paid mechs, and they get blown to smithereens in mere seconds of being fired upon. I will restate this again: I tried the Trial Dragon-DRG-5N and the paid version of THE EXACT SAME MECH. I died quickly in every single match I played with the trial version, and my first foray into battle with the paid version which, again, I accidentally made WEAKER by screwing with the hardpoints, was getting fired upon by 5 seperate enemy mechs when trying to capture a base, and I STILL didn’t explode right away, and was able to maneuver into a more covered spot before finally being taken down. I am really starting to wonder about those who honestly claim there’s “nothing wrong” with the trial mechs, or that they are even good. What I HAVE noticed, is a LOT of those defending the trial mechs are Founding players, who seem to be really into the game. A common defense is “If you know how to use them, they’re really good.” Yeah, that’s the problem…. We don’t know how to use them! We are new players! If you’re going to place in a mech for beginners, you don’t give them something that requires a lot of skill to use even remotely effectively, and toss them into a match with a bunch of vets. That’s BROKEN. To cross example, I died seconds into my first ever match playing MechWarrior. I tried out another mech game that people have been suggesting to me, and this was the result of my FIRST match (Free-For-All Deathmatch, mind you) in a LEVEL ONE, “Starter” mech, while up against other players as high as level 12:

HawkenGame-Win32-Shipping 2012-12-28 17-45-32-49

Yeah, I may have been driving a mech that looks like someone stapled arms and legs onto an Easy-Bake Oven, but I was taught how to use it, and it held its own.

Now before you use this as a “GRR HAWKEN STUPID! MECHWARRIOR IS 4 TRU SKILLZ!” jump-off point, which seems to be becoming an increasingly popular topic in the vein of DOTA versus LoL, my point is not to claim one game is a “better game”, but that this sort of thing CAN be done without screwing over your new players. I can also easily use World of Tanks as an example. Tier 1 tanks might be slow-moving Papier-mâché water-pistols on treads, but at least you’re only matched up with OTHER slow-moving Papier-mâché water-pistols on treads. Everyone sucks EQUALLY, and you get to spend what you’ve learned on better tank gear, while still learning the basic mechanics of the game with a fair shot.

The debate may rage on, but I stand by what I said: Trial Mechs are worthless. They serve little purpose in helping a new player play the game.

In a final bit of “OH DAMN IT!” news, I was going to do a quick Backtrack on DarkBlood, reporting on the Thief class, and the newly implemented fishing system, but without any logical or stated reason, it seems Outspark has decided to close DarkBlood on January 15th,2013. Despite the easily miss-able statement about looking for a new publisher, this seems set in stone, as the cash shop was removed yesterday, and Outspark is offering a “Complementary” bonus pack for Fiesta, by entering the promo code “BESTFANEVER” on their website. This saddens me as I KNOW how shameless the game could be (the Thief class is a loli, BTW) but it was seriously the most enjoyable beat-em-up MMO I’d played in a LONG time. There’s no “fan petition” to save this one, and whilst again, this came out of nowhere, as the game was heavily populated, and fan speculation is once again all over the place, the game isn’t exactly well known enough to warrant reporting on any efforts being made to save it. Because there are none. Happy new year, indeed.

Keep an eye out for a new Sidequest coming soon, a “end of the year” article I’ll have up, and some new Backtracks coming in the near future! If you are heading to MAGFest, keep an eye out for me, or attend the Blistered Thumbs Panel to see me there.

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Posted on December 29, 2012, in News and Updates and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. Regarding lag in RaiderZ, I don’t know what kind of lag they are talking about but I can say that dodging is very delayed, like you have to dodge far in advance, almost one second in advance or you get hit. I have 30-40 ms latency and didn’t have that kind of delay in TERA. Your character can be totally out of the incoming hit and still get hit. I think it’s just bad design in the game. Sometimes, especially on hard and long fights, eventually they will hit right through your dodge, even if you timed it perfectly. This game require really good timing and any lag can screw you. The problem with such a delay on dodge is that you can never react with reflexes. You can’t dodge something you didn’t see coming. It is much more evident when playing a berserker because it rely on dodging.

    I made a comment about other problems on the blistered thumbs video. Such a shame because it is a really good game otherwise.

  2. I would associate lag with graphics card (overheating, lack of, old) or RAM (not enough, faulty), unless is was browser based. If the game runs on Flash, that’s when it’s often the game itself. Of course it can also just be overloaded servers.

    • Hmm, Magfest sounds kinda fun. Too bad it’s not in Washington state. I’ve never managed to get into PAX; tickets seems to sell out the day they’re released. I’m sure attendance is high, but I can’t help but think scalpers play a big part in it.

    • I think a LOT of the time lag does get confused for low RAM and a poor graphics card/processor, but there’s an easy way to tell the difference.
      If everyone and everything on screen, including your own character, is stuttering and freezing at random, it’s probably your PC’s fault.
      If your character, and the environments are working just fine, but other characters are frozen in place, teleporting around, or your attacks don’t seem to input right away, it’s server or lag issues. I learned to tell the difference REAL fast in my WoW days, seeing how much better “Lagforge” ran when installing a few more gigs of RAM, but then noticing when an enemy would suddenly become invincible for several seconds, and then we’d both suddenly take a crap-ton of damage at once and the enemy would die. Or I’d go to cast an “Instant” cast spell, and my hands would glow for several seconds before finally casting. In those cases it doesn’t matter how beast your PC is, your at the whim of the server and your ISP.

  3. Oh man, that sucks about darkblood. I JUST made an account a few days ago too, and was about to start playing. I just don’t get the motivation of closing one game, and hoping people will move to your other one. From what I can tell from here, people just abandon the publisher totally if they do that.

    And they JUST released the Thief, and have 2 more spots for characters. I see no reason why they should close…. Maybe someone can explain the reason why to me. The game the are recommending is nothing like this from what I can tell…

    • They haven’t given a reason. Go and check out the statement linked on the front page of the game site ( http://darkblood.outspark.com/newsview?id=26895 ) and show me where they said why, they didn’t. It’s part of why it was so annoying as it really was “happy holidays guys, you’re the best and by the way, we’re shutting the game down next month, see ya” as they walked out the door on Friday. From what people are saying Outspark is bad for dropping titles though so it’s not unheard of for them.

      I am SO done with Korean MMOs now and more specifically the ones publishing them. The games can be good but MAN do the publishers suck.

      • I looked at that. Yeah, it’s very odd not to say why. Maybe we might get lucky and hear on monday.

        And I was so excited to play. I saw the grinder’s review of it a few weeks ago, and only downloaded it last week before coming down to florida, thinking I can play it if it rains. And then this happens. Oh well, I suppose I should play Rusty hearts, since I haven’t for months, and that was a fun game. Or maybe Elsword?

        • They may or may not give a reason later. Although in the end it doesn’t really matter as unless the whole thing was some kind of prank it’s getting closed down and I wouldn’t hold my breath about some other company picking it up.

          Rusty Hearts is a good game too, but I REALLY hate PWE and wouldn’t touch anything they have any sort of involvement with. They and how badly they managed RH are a healthy part of the reason why I’m quitting Korean MMOs. Although now that they finally have a proper test server for RH it may fair better in the future. Yes that’s right, they only just set up a proper test server for it recently and they admitted after Reborn released with a crap ton of bugs that their at that time current test server didn’t show any of them then later how their test and live servers didn’t work the same way.

          Elsword i’ve had no involvement with at all. Ultimately what you want to play is up to you, just try to look into things for a while before jumping in.

          • This seems a bit much for a prank, and if it was, like Grinder said once before, a prank like this would backfire hugely for them, if it was a planned prank. I think he brought it up when City of Heroes was announced it was closing.

            I hope another company picks it up, because it looks fun. Still, I may play it a little before it closes down, just to say I have. I did like how the thief class played(at least in the videos) Also, I am not surprised they made her a loli. Plus the chest bar was turned off for her too, and that made me laugh.

            I never got far enough to really do much in Rusty hearts, mainly because I was stupid and trying to play all the females equally(i liked their designs a lot), then I got distracted by GW2 and other games. I did hear that Rusty hearts had a lot of bug trouble, and it took MONTHS for them to be fixed. I saw some of the new weapons, and the cool one I saw was the briefcase gun. That looks very cool. Still, I hope he does a back tracker for the game, so I can see some later level stuff I may not be at yet.

            Elsword I watched the video here, and was interested.

            • A prank not by Outspark or at least any Outspark employee planing to remain employed but by someone else. For instance high level government or related sites have been hacked and tinkered with. MMOs hacked then high level mobs spawned in town or quest NPCs placed just out of reach of players. It happens.

              The thief looks about 12 or 13 and oh boy is she loud compare to everyone else. She’s the standard “I can do a crap ton of damage but can’t take a hit worth a damn” character. If you’ve played the thief in Dungeon Fighter Online then it’s the same thing. Both give two sub classes, the assassin is focused on fast high damage close ranged combat (took mine in DFO to cap, 70). The outsider more magic related and semi-range based combat (got one around 50 in DFO). Didn’t try the outsider but the assassin (mine is lvl 27 or so) really is just like the rogue sub class for thieves in DFO.

            • ^^^ Since I can’t reply to you because the thread got to long…

              I thought you meant that, but I heard Chaos said about some people thought city of heroes closing was to bring more attention to the game, so i thought it might be that.

              I see. I never played DDO, but again watched Chaos’ video on it. I keep meaning to try these games, because I don’t need to sink much time into them like a WoW like MMO(I already play GW2, and MIGHT go back to WoW too.) I need games that are slower, like Pangya(used to play, very tempted to go back.

            • The CoH comment was relating to the rumor mill when that was going down as it’s happening with DBO since Outspark never actually stated why. We were both annoyed by the so called experts “that saw it coming” or insist they know why it’s going down when the only ones that do know haven’t said anything.

              DFO isn’t bad but the same things he mentioned and some others annoyed me too, plus, Nexon, ugh. The XP requirements are lower than they used to be and a kind of neat new gear system for rare grade gear I think (it’s been a while) got added during the summer but you can’t zip up to high levels in short order. There’s some elitist “if you don’t have a +x or higher weapon then get the hell out” attitudes among some at least too which is annoying. One thing with Nexon games is they all seem plagued by gold sellers, botters, NX sellers/buyers and a lot of the megaphone chat in DFO tended to be people claiming one person or the other is scamming and the related arguments. Megaphone chat can’t be turned off of course.

              One thing about Korean MMOs in general is they all get rather grindy, it’s sort of a staple for them. Meaning don’t expect them to be lower time investment games if you want higher levels and decent gear. Events are also good for chewing up a lot of time as you’re like “ooh, I need to take advantage of that” then DFO tended to have one event after the other with at times multiple events going on at one time. Some are also harder to play without cash shop investments than others. They can be rather expensive if you’re not careful resulting in pay to play or getting various single player or co-op games being cheaper in the end. Just make sure you look at the cash shop before you play a game too much so you have a good idea as to what you’re getting into and stick to a budget if that’s a concern.

  4. By the way, where the idea that RH was getting ignored in favour of RaiderZ really came from when they told us how a much desired guild bug fix patch (which didn’t work anyhow) was delayed as the tech guys were busy working on RaiderZ. Some in the community just really latched onto that statement and it wasn’t the only time they offered up info they really shouldn’t have. For instance how their test server for Rusty Hearts didn’t show any of the many bugs in the Reborn patch followed by how their test server doesn’t work the same way the live servers do.

  5. I’ve picked up some Mech_____ games and related over the years. Some were fun, some annoyed the heck out of me but one aspect I liked was all the many options so not being able to absorb all that when you don’t already know it inside and out coming in and it may not have much of a tutorial is a given.

    Rusty Hearts if you’re going to do a back track for then now would be the time. It’s as bug free as it has been for a long time so at least you won’t have to deal with all that as much as you would have when trying to play earlier.

    The Dark Blood situation just annoys me. It was like “happy holidays guys and oh by the way, we’re closing the game down next month, see ya” as they walked out the door on Friday. Right now the forums is just people asking why, blaming different groups for it getting shut down, claiming how they saw it all coming and some saying how people need to try to encourage some other company to pick it up.

    • I went looking at DarkBlood’s forums as well as their Facebook page. My personal favorite conspiracy theory is “They’re shutting it down to pay for Fiesta”. Outspark has had Fiesta for YEARS, and I’m pretty sure it was the first game they published. Seems like a stupid move to shut down a game that was bringing in, no pun intended, new blood in order to boost the population of a game that’s nothing like it. That’s the problem with this “hush-hush” crap. I understand the ideal of being contractually obligated not to speak about their reasons, but saying as much as “this is a legal related matter” or “we are contractually obligated not to speak on the issue” would at least quell SOME of the rumor mill. Everyone’s a fucking detective.

      And man, I cannot STAND the self-important morons who go in the threads spouting “they saw it coming”. No, pessimist, you just got lucky. Because I’m pretty sure they never said ANYTHING about it beforehand, but will claim their prophecy is true. Praise the great Nerdstadamus! It’s like when the autopsy report on Billy Mays leaked out 6 months after his death, claiming to have found traces of cocaine in his system, and sudden everyone goes back on Billy’s old commercials to say, “Oh god, look how coked up he is! You can totally tell!” No, you can’t, Captain Hindsight, because until that report went out NOBODY ever considered that a possibility. He was just a very upbeat and excitable guy who was truly enthused about his job. People love pretending they are way more important than they actually are.

      • I don’t mind people throwing around theories, I do that too. Although some try to insist their theory is fact and no one else knows what they are talking about even though they haven’t a clue what the cause is either.

        • It’s why I presented my City of Heroes article the way I did. “Here are the facts” “Here’s what everyone is guessing.” The issue is, “maybe the reason” never prefaces the arguments, and it’s always stated as fact. “It’s shut down because ____.” They don’t know that! The internet is filled with so many stupidly impressionable people that I still see the occasional comment yelling a a person appearing in another person’s video for “being mean to them” or “interrupting them”. Tis a sad world, this.

      • One thing about all the “I saw it coming” people is that really anytime any MMO hits so much of bump along the way there’s always some people going on how the end is near. People have been saying that about Anarchy Online constantly for many years now but you know once it does go down those people will show up claiming how they knew it all and predicted it would happen more than years ago already.

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