Sunday, August 31, 2008

Spore Release coming up!

I just noticed Spore is coming out in a week or something.

I've been really interested in trying this game online, I noted a disappointing factor in the product description on Amazon:

"While Spore is a single player game, your creations and other players’ creations are automatically shared between your galaxy and theirs, providing a limitless number of worlds to explore and play within. Internet Connection Required."

I have the full version creature creator because it's so fun to make creatures, but now I see that when you "play online" you're really just submitting your creations and downloading other peoples' creations from a network.

Bottom line: no player interaction. Is anybody okay with this? It pretty much drops my interest in playing it completely.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Anime that I recommend and why

Ok, Oakstout asked me to recommend some anime so I'm gonna try and set a new standard for myself on organization here. the following are anime that I have watched and that I recommend for other to watch and then a description of the series and why I recommend it. Also a pic of the main char just for kicks:

1. Rurouni Kenshin: Rurouni means wanderer. Kenshin is a man with a very bloody past who's trying to repent for what he did as an assassin by trying to save lives for the rest of his life. He uses a reverse blade sword.. something VERY unusual for his time and it does not slay his opponents by default and usually just knocks them senseless. Set in the Meiji era of Japan where swords are illegal to carry. His companions are Kaoru (his love interest) who believes in only using wooden swords, Yahiko (an Oliver twist type character) who is an ex-pickpocket but slowly becomes a good swordsman, and Sanosuke, a street brawler with a good heart and a thick skull. Lots of people die in this anime so don't show it to your little ones till they are at least 13.

2. Full Metal Alchemist: Edward Adlrich and his brother are searching for a way to restore their bodies to normal. After messing with forces they shouldn't have while trying to bring their mom back from the beyond the veil (grave) Edward lost his arm and leg, and his little brother lost his whole body (but not his spirit and his soft heart) Throughout the journey they discover horrible government secrets as well as many things not intended by anyone and there are lots of powers at work in their world. Very touching, visceral, and excellently executed Anime. Definitely see the movie that closes the tv series also. Unlike most anime movies it provides a lot of closure. Also dont show this to small children.

3. Ranma 1/2: Very very funny. Ranma is a boy who has a curse on him that when he gets wet he turns into a girl. He spends lots of time trying to get back to"normal" but he is slowly falling in love with a girl he initially has a very prickly relationship with named Akane. Lots of other characters here that also tranform when wet. Best seasons are seasons 1-3 and season 6. The rest is just passable. If you are very conservative in what you watch at home dont watch this, the Japanese are very non-chalant about showing women's breasts and such on occasion. prolly would be rated R but most episodes are more kid-friendly. Kinda random. The romance is very touching in many places, especially in the 6th season there is the hospital episode. Anyways, I have kinda mixed feelings about recommending this to anyone but if your careful theres a lot of good here.

4. Samurai Champloo: A girl, Fuu is looking for some way to find the Sunflower Samurai who either killed or is her dad, shes not sure. She would like to find her father or avenge his killer that much is certain. She helps two men condemned to die to escape.
These two men.. Mugen and Jin, are excellent sword fighters. The sword fighting in this show is amazing as it approaches realism with just enough fantasy to be more interesting. They almost die a bloody death in almost every episode and I'm not gonna tell you how it ends. Only runs one season. Worth buying if your older, not for kids. (notice a recurring theme here?)

5. Trigun: Vash the stampede is on the loose. Truth be told all he wants though is a box of donuts.. Give the man some slack, coppers. Vash is an alien, they call him a "plant" because he produces energy and has very non-human characteristics. But he can also look like a human and he seems to prefer to. He makes friends with two reporter ladies who are tracking hisdestructive actions (which usually occur defending himself) Wolfwood shows up later and helps him out some with the shooting while he tries to stop his evil twin brother who has no empathy for humans, unlike Vash. P.S. this doesnt take place on earth but takes place on a planet where Earth's survivors have fled.

6. Naruto: Uzumaki Naruto is a kid. Hes an orphan that nobody likes save a couple class friends who don't know his past. The reason nobody likes him is cuz he has a demon sealed up inside him. It cant get out, but its influence can if he lets it. Did I mention hes a ninja in training? this is by far the most entertaining ninja series I have found. It also sets you mind at ease as to the questions of if pirates fought ninjas who would win? In Kenshin or Naruto's world there's no question. Not even a contest. the series starts out juvenile with fun humor but later develops into something gripping and morally challenging. The villain in this one is 'especially' creepy. And the characters are all very fun. Naruto eventually makes rivals and friends but is challenged constantly by people who dont want him to achieve his potential. Still airing in the Shippuden series.

7. Avatar the last airbender: Ang is the last Airbender and the only reasons he's around is cuz he (through the work of fate or what have you) sealed himself in an ice trance for 100 years. His people underwent an ethnic purge and now the fire nation rules most of the world and is slowly taking over the rest. As ang learns to "bend" the other elements to his will, he makes friends and lots and lots of enemies. Very clever and develops well after the first few episodes. Sit this one out, its still rolling on Nickelodeon. Fine for kids. Or adults.

8.Escaflowne: Hitomi finds out her grandmother's pendant comes from a parallel planet called Gaia, a world at war, not onoly that but it makes wishes into reality so she has to be very careful with her wishes as she warps young prince Van to her world and then back. Her adventures with Van are awesome and he learns to pilot an Ispano Guymelef (like a mechwarrior thingie) that can fly and its name is .. you guessed it: Escaflowne. Kids can watch this but its intense.

9. Every movie made by Hayao Miyazaki, Japan's 'Walt Disney'
My favorites: Howl's Moving Castle, Castle in the sky(Laputa), Castle of Cagliastro, Spirited Away, Porco Rosso, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, and Kiki's Delivery Service
less favorite but still good: My Neighbor Totoro(for kids), Princess Mononoke
Pixar, especially John Lassetter have published and dubbed these for us in English very well so they are extra enjoyable.

Less high quality but still in my favorites: Robotech :P Inuyasha, Ah My goddess (not a porno even though you might think so. Its very innocent and cute)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Chronicles of Spellborn finds publishers for US

Good news for those who care: TCOS has found a publisher for the US. And "Acclaim already has almost seven million registered users within their portfolio of currently five online games and is committed to start a large-scale marketing campaign until its launch in late 2008. Acclaim will give North American players a free-to-play zone while subscribers will be able to explore the entire virtual world." so apparently it will have a Free to Play section, similar to Runescape or Dofus. Could be fun to try out.

Too sleepy

Too sleepy to blog lately.... Ok well it might sound like a lame excuse but its true today. So there :P I am not in the preview weekend so I wont get to try Warhammer until the 7th. I do have the client downloaded tho. That duck is in a row at least. And Lotro had a large patch last night that fixed a number of annoying things. I really need to get Rumples in gear and finish book 13 so I can try out book 14. All told I have too much fun to have and not enough time to have it. right now jsut finished wathcing the first season of Rurouni Kenshin with my GF :). I HIGHLY recommend watching the first two seasons. They are very entertaining and high quality anime. I've known about them for a long time but am re-watching them cuz my GF hasn't seen them yet :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Waaaaaugh! (sorry just had to do that)

The NDA has officially dropped according to our good friend Syp :)

The Calm before the Storm

Why do I feel like we're stuck in the eye of a hurricane, about to get buffeted and percussed with all manner of haberdashery? Silence can sure be unnerving. Drop the NDA already Mythic!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Downloading Warhammer Beta this weekend

So my boss gave me his spare Open beta key so I'm gonna download the game this weekend since open beta downloads start today. Once the Open beta starts up I'll pop in from time to time. Sadly, (or fortunately) my free time is very limited soooo probably wont really go through and burn myself out on the first 15 or 30 levels before the game even releases. Most likely I'll just get a good taste for the newbie zones and couple of the classes. Should be fun. I'm not delighted that it takes up 15 gb of hard drive.. that tells me its gonna be hard to make space on my laptop (my main development pc), though my desk top had a gazillion of the gigabyte thingies. (Not to mention the download is gonna take a whole day)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

More from Jeff Steefel

Here's some more info on the classes and things we can expect in Moria. They both sound kinda innovative so I'm actually a bit interested to play them. Not your ho-hum MMO classes at all.
(Start quote)

Of course, Steefel and company will be pushing the boundaries of Session Play and Live Events much further in Moria. It was still too early for him to speculate on a release date, but he did have a lot to say about the new classes that will debut in Moria, the Runekeeper and the Warden. Both will introduce entirely new gameplay mechanics to LotRO's class roster and offer a "snappier" and more immediate feel.

The Runekeeper will be the first magic-using class in LotRO - "in and of itself a breath of relief for many players who were wanting that kind of unabashed magic in the game, and a cause for stomach churning for people who are really into the lore that think we're going to suddenly turn it into flying wizards and stuff like that," Steefel said. But more interesting is a new "attunement" mechanic that will allow Runekeepers the flexibility to switch between fully offensive and defensive rules, even within the same encounter. More succinctly put, "the Runekeeper is really interesting because it is a gameplay that can be tuned in real time."

Most hybrid classes encourage players to specialize in either damage-dealing or healing through their choices in gear and talents. But the Runekeeper's "specialty" will depend on the player's choice of spells during an encounter. Choosing damage dealing spells will increase the power of subsequent offensive spells and limit the effectiveness of healing spells, and vice versa. Out of combat, the Runekeeper goes back to a sort of "hybrid equilibrium" where both schools are available. Steefel elaborated, "you have an actual 'attunement bar' that's a special part of your UI that allows you to manage this balance between one side and the other - almost a yin and a yang - and you can't do both at once." This ability to slowly transition between roles should make for some interesting raid encounters in Moria.

The other class that Moria will introduce, the Warden, employs a combo system similar to the Fellowship Maneuvers that groups of players can activate mid-fight. By stringing together a group of abilities, the Warden will have access to special "macro" skills. Like the Runekeeper, the Warden's role incorporates elements of more pure offensive and defensive classes. "The way that Cardell Kerr, our Creative Director, likes to describe him is that he's like the local beat cop of Middle earth ... he has this kind of utility about him," Steefel said.

Finally, Steefel talked about one of the major changes Turbine is making to LotRO's Trait system. In it's current form it offers players a ton of flexibility, but the developers were concerned that the game lacked clear upgrade paths for players to follow if they wanted to pursue a certain specialty. In Moria, Turbine will be adding a mechanic called "Trait Sets" which will allow players to gain additional bonuses by pursuing a specific upgrade path. "They're class based, and depending on your class, you'll have different sets available to you, and by getting certain traits and equipping them properly, you get to this complete set, and that gives you a set of macro bonuses and extra stats," Steefel said. It's another way for players to maximize their characters' abilities, and another reason to look forward to entering the Mines of Moria.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Trogadogador!!! And the dragon comes in the Niiiight!

Strong Bad is at large and in charge on the Wii. However you can also get a pc version of the game if you want that instead and hate Nintendo. Sounds like a win win to me. I may get the pc version instead just cuz Nintendo doesn't allow me to store much crap on my Wii cuz they are a bunch of 'out of touch' type peoples.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Here's a link for the lore behind WAR if your a NOOB like me, you might also check out this link on greenskins by da Greenskin. He did a pretty good job. :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

WAR's Looong term impact (also speculative)

WAR will change a number of things I hope. It will change the boring, closed minded corporate idea that only pve based MMO's can make money. It will also change the way people perceive what pvp can mean and open world pvp can mean to some extent since most people didn't really play DAoC who play MMO's currently. It will possibly force Blizzard to innovate or just steal some more ideas. It will possibly force Turbine to innovate more or start a sad decline. It will be on every kid, teenager, young adult and older adults' pc for this year and so on until it peters out. They will hopefully come up with a console version with voice chat for the Xbox, the most online game friendly platform out. WAR will eventually get directX10 and become a contender in graphics with the big boys and probably even upgrade to directX11 when that comes out. WAR will be fun. and it will have a fresh world, and lots of races and classes, like Vanguard. Only more funner.

The Public quest system will be interesting and may have some long term ramifications on how things work in future MMO's it may even become a standard, just as traits have become a part of Warhammer's Book of Knowledge or whatever its called. Open dungeons may also work well, we'll see.

p.s. I'm not trying to be a fanboy or too negative or too positive, just trying to realistic.

WAR's impact (speculative of course)

So.... this is hard to quantify but since I'm putting on my speculation hat here.. What will WAR's impact be? I can tell you right now I am pretty sure of a few things:

1. Most MMO players will waste/spend 50 bucks (or more... see CE)
and buy it and try it. Their friends will coerce them to do so.

2. Some people will love it. Absolutely love it. Those who missed what DAoC used to be before Trials of Atlantis will have a new DAoC with shinier graphics and smoother game play and maybe some other fun things like Public quests and stuff. These people will stay in WAR for a long time.

3. Some people will try it as their first MMO ever. These people will adore it cuz they aren't comparing it to anything else. Bully for them.

4. Some people will jump from WoW being their first game to WAR, lets break these people into at least 4 camps, shall we?

4.1: Explorers&Socializers (i.e. me and Anton) These people will play WAR until they explore it to their satisfaction and then if they find a guild they like they'll stay, otherwise their guild may pull them back to wow or whatever.

4.2: Stealth Gankers (0.5 of the rogue/burglar audience) These people as I understand it may or may not have a niche in WAR as its stealth ambush abilities in classes are non-existent for the most part, though they will still happen via mob ganking.

4.3: PVP action lovers (my brothers) These people might just get bored with war's "stand there and hit each other. Push buttons, rinse and repeat" method of pvp. They might want more visceral combat and go back to TF2 and Halo and whatever. Admitedly, WoW tried to be exciting but usually it was just .. oops I didnt hit the button faster than the other guy so now I'm dead. Oh well. Time to res.

4.4: Solo Players (every other hunter you ever met (jk)) Will roll through the levels of the game, whining that they have to be around other players in Public Quests who hamper their leet skillz. And then Bounce from the game when they get tired of repeatable quests or whatever the grind is at the end. May participate in zerg and harassment pvp. (rvr)

5.Old Hands from games that have some things better, some things worse, like EVE, Lotro, Wizards 101 whatever. These people will incessantly compare WAR to their old game. The WoW people will also do this a little but WAR will be WoW with RVR added so the cant complain too much. The Lotro and EVE people will complain they are taking a hit to graphics cuz WAR doesn't support directx10 or whatnot. (yet) The Wizards 101 people who are smart like Tipa will complain that WAR has level restrictions and wont let you play with your friends easily. The COH people will have a similar complaint with its lack of side kicking.

6. Some people will churn through the content so fast it make your eyes bleed and will be tired of the city sieges before they even get good (balanced sides and balanced programming from Mythic). These people will only stay a bit longer whining for more content and then only if they have a good group of friends around. Eventually they will get tired of the same old thing in RVR and leave.

7. Some people will take forever to get anywhere but will savor every bit of it. They will leave no stone unturned and will play every part of the game their very limited gaming schedule allows. This may or may not be a large percentage of the game depending on how it is designed and if it is really aimed at a mass market. 1 and a half hours for a dungeon will seem a bit steep to these people but they may still be able to to do it on Saturdays or whatever.

8. Some people will not use their imaginations and will see nothing more than pixels and a money trap especially with no lifetime subs. Many wives and gf's and also parents (my dad) will fall into this category. They will not like WAR.. not at all.

9. WAR will become the next big thing since people are burned out on WoW and EQ2 and Lotro and everything else. But it will only be the next big thing for just a couple years then taper off as something else walks into the limelight. And when I say next big thing I mean it wont flop like Conan or whatnot. I can alreayd guage from the hype and expectations of all my old friends in wow that they are gonna leave wow cold turkey for a while and play WAR until they are sick of it. And just about everyone I talked to in WoW 2 years ago felt this way so I'm pretty sure their feelign have only increased by now. WoW is gonna take a real hit and WAR is gonna take a net gain. Whoop-dee-doo. :P How long they stay will depend on how exciting and fun WAR really is.

10. Let me know if you think of more.