Off-Week Update (09-05-2013)
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.