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The “1v1 Me Bro” SMITE Tournament: First Week Results

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.

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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.

Off-Week Update (10-12-2013)

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.”

Upcoming Events:
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.

Viewership survey!

Out of little more than morbid curiosity, I decided to conduct a short survey on the show. Please feel free to answer the questions honestly, and provide comment feedback on this post if you so desire. This will mostly allow viewers who don’t wish to comment on the site a chance to give show feedback, so don’t feel obligated to comment if you don’t wish to. Enjoy!

Click here to take survey

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