February 13th, 2011 by
Because I am a complete beta whore, I try to get into as many as possible, especially for MMOs. I’ve been in far too many to count, and some of them I enjoyed a lot (WAR, LOTRO, and Star Trek Online), and some I absolutely hated (Vanguard, Tabula Rasa). I have even bought the game afterward in some cases, although was so bitterly disappointed in WAR. I really enjoyed the Beta but after release it somehow managed to lose its charm and enjoyment.
Recently, though, I have been playing in the Rift beta, and I gotta say, so far I am impressed. First off, it’s a gorgeous game. Not just the impressive atmosphere created by an excellent graphics engine, but the design is very well done, a lot of subtlety and use of design elements that really make for a gorgeous world of Telara.
I rolled a few characters so far, and stuck with a DPS mage-type build for the longest. The character development structure is really interesting, though, with a multiple skills tree system that allows for a wise variety of customization to your character’s roles. The exception to this rule is the warrior classes. They had all the same trees and paths for customization, but either way it just seemed like there were only two options, tank or dps, and the only differences were the names of the combat moves.
If you ever played the Warhammer MMO, you are familiar with the Public Quest concept, and the idea has been improved on a bit in Rift. The public quests are events that can randomly occur in a zone, and when you enter an event area, a button appears on the top of your screen to join the public group. Clicking that button will place you in the raid group for that event, giving you a share in the group’s efforts, XP, and rewards. Then at the end of the event, the loot is distributed, rewards based on participation effort are given, and the groups split up and everyone goes on their way.
I don’t think I will be necessarily be buying Rift when it is released, but not because I did not enjoy the game. I just don’t have the time right now to devote to an MMO (although when SW:TOR comes out I am afraid my life will turn into one not unlike Gollum, with my precious lightsaber…). I definitely recommend Rift though, especially if you are bored with WoW or whatever game you have been playing and could use a change from.
February 9th, 2011 by
Faith restored, refunds are being made through Steam support for people who purchased You Don’t Know Jack yesterday. Huzzah!
No word on hats being awarded however…
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February 8th, 2011 by
So when I was younger, I played the original You Don’t Know Jack on my home computer with my brothers, sometimes with my dad. It was a lot of fun, and a great game. Then for a while it was a web-based game run with ads. Also, a shitload of fun.
Today I see that it is now available on Steam. A new version. OH MY GOD SWEET JUMPING ZOMBIE JEBUS A NEW YDKJ!
Then the pain. The horror. The damage control by someone controlling the Steam page. The new version on the PC does not support multiplayer over networks, just local on-the-screen multiplayer. But wait, Steam! I saw you said it supportted Multiplayer, just like you list for TF2 and the like! Look righ- wait, this is different than I saw earlier. You don’t have the same screenshots and it doesn’t list multiplayer anymore.
Fortunately for me, I almost never close my browser tabs. I am lucky enough to have an awesome laptop that won’t self-immolate when you have a dozen tabs open. So I grabbed a bunch of screenshots here from my still-open window from earlier today. It even made me come back to my blog to write about it, abandoning my other fledgling projects to do this!
I am a huge Valve fan. Aside from the current software company that pays me a lot of money to work for them, Valve is my favorite software company ever. I know several people who bought this game today, while those screens were active on the Steam store, assuming that it meant “more than two people multiplayer, and most likely across a network”. Then the Steam page has changed, there are now only 10 screenshots, not 13, and they are not the same shots that I saw before. I know Steam does not generally do refunds. But damnit, they better this time, or this is going to be a serious blow to their credibility…
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July 6th, 2010 by
I would like to bring to the public’s attention the blatant liberal propaganda that is being billed as a fun and addictive game for your iPhone or iPod Touch. This brainwashing technique is named “Tilt To Live”, and for a nominal price you can get this through the App Store.
This devious mechanism purports to be a game of skill and strategy, where the player navigates his “guy” around the screen, avoiding his enemies, whose merest touch is fatal. Scattered throughout the field of play are various “weapons” that the player can use to defend himself, and eliminate his opposition. Or her opposition for you gender-confused types. But really, girls, playing video games? Please. Only men play video games, women don’t have the faculties for it. Same for voting. Anyhow…
The real issue with this game, however, is not in its clever design, or easy-to-learn-difficult-to-master gameplay and interface. It’s not the fantastic use of the iP*’s accelerometers that allow you to move your “guy” around simply by tilting the device. It’s that it is corrupting our nation’s minds with its insidious propaganda. See, the player’s “guy” is an arrow, pointing true and forward, just like the liberal elite would have you believe that the progressive movement is. All the while you are avoiding your enemies who are of course, red dots.
This game would have you believe that the red dots, an obvious representation of good, solid, red-state conservatives, are your enemy, and their merest touch is enough to destroy you. I suppose that this could be true, that if you successfully get through to a liberal with solid conservative philosophy, he is dead as far as the progressive socialists are concerned. But to show them as a mindless, ravenous horde of red dots who simply swarm and make clever patterns in an effort to destroy you simply demeans those true Americans whose minds and hearts are rooted in solid heartland values.
Also, the weapons that are used to defend your little leftist arrow include “nukes”, green bubble shields, vortex-creating black holes, and blue bubbles with swirling spikes which allow you to sweep through the red dots without any harm. There is also another blue weapon that when triggered freezes the red dots, encasing them in a lump of bluish ice, waiting to be impaled on the point of the Pelosi-loving arrow. You can also get an electrical shield to electrocute the red dots, in a blatant attempt to show the liberal mantra that anyone who does not agree with them deserves to die, except of course convicted murderers sentenced to execution.
So if you want a truly addictive game with great replay value, exciting music, and cleverly written achievements, then get “Tilt To Live” by http://www.onemanleft.com but be sure to say a couple of prayers and wrap yourself in a big blanket with a picture of a great American on it, preferably Glenn Beck or maybe Rush Limbaugh, if you have a king-sized bed. Maybe play some Souza marches or a recording of Pat Robertson singing “God Bless America” to protect you from the insidious liberal socialist mind-warping propaganda. But you will play it. It’s as enjoyable as that Mary Jane all the tree-hugging hippies smoke, and even more addictive than their heroin.
June 29th, 2010 by
When Team Fortress 2 unveiled the Spy/Sniper update, there was some controversy, with one of the Sniper updated weapons being the Huntsman, a bow and arrow projectile weapon. While there were some good arguments on the anti-Huntsman side, let me assure you, they are all completely wrong. The Huntsman is by far my favorite weapon in TF2 right now. But I will admit, it is very different from the hitscan sniper rifle, but provides for much better gameplay as a sniper than sitting back and scoping in on targets.
The Huntsman operates by charging shots, holding down the left mouse button draws back the bow string, and charges the shot. Releasing the button releases the bowstring and predictably fires an arrow. The arrow, fully charged, hits hard, causing 350 damage with a headshot, taking down anyone except a Demo with many heads collected, or an overhealed Heavy. You also get the bonus joy of pinning the corpse of your victim to the wall, and you can collect a fairly impresive gallery of art if you hold a chokepoint like the tunnel to the middle area in Warpath. Be careful, though, holding a charged shot for too long will cause your hand to get tired, shaky, and your accuracy goes straight to hell.
It takes a few seconds to fully charge, however, and in that time your movement rate slows. Snap shots do less damage, and have a shorter range, but are good for close quarters, tunnels, caves, and for shooting targets outside of your line-of-sight (more on this later). There are also times when it’s unavoidable, coming around a corner and being surprised by an opponent. That snap shot and a quick change to kukri or SMG can save your life and a good 20 second respawn. But when fully charged, the arrow is a formidable weapon, and your team’s second-best-friend. (#1? Jarate.)
The most important thing to learn about using the Huntsman is the arc. You must learn the arc, and be able to predict it accurately. The rifle is straight-line hitscan, but the arrow is a more elegant weapon, from a more enlightened age, and requires a little more thought put into each shot, especially since your quiver only holds 12 arrows. The best way to learn the arc is to take a large, wide-open area (I used the bridge in Warpath), and a good spray to aim at. I used a headshot of Keanu Reeves, but choose whatever works best for you. Put the spray on the wall at one end of the area, and go as far away from it as you can, and start firing charged shots at your spray. Start with your aiming reticle right where you want the arrow to go, and then adjust upward accordingly until you hit that original spot.
Once you get the arc down, move up to a few yards away from the spray, run back and forth in front of it, strafing, and releasing uncharged snap shots at a spot on your spray. In my case, I used Keanu’s right eye. Try this from different distances, until you are relatively accurate.
Once you get a good feel for the arc, join a server and practice leading your target. Aim for the body, and lead some moving targets, again like passing a football to a moving receiver. The hardest thing for me to get a good feel for is the movement speeds of the different classes, and being able to quickly judge the lead needed. To this day, I have trouble accurately judging soldiers, being the mid-range speed between medics and heavies. You will miss a lot, and people will yell at you for sucking, but that’s why you do this on a random pubbie you plan to never play on again. But get a feel for aiming ahead of the target and move on to my favorite activity with a huntsman, guerrilla sniping.
By far the biggest advantage the bow has over the rifle is a lack of zoom. While this might not seem to be a real advantage, what it provides is a flexibility and a lack of reliance on, what is in my eyes, a handicap. Not having the scope allows for on-the-fly aiming, and a better environment for “popping out” and releasing a shot at a target. Since the map was called 2fort_5 in the Quake-based Team Fortress, snipers have crept out from behind obstructions, rifles to their eyes, ready to ventilate the frontal lobes of anyone in their sights. And for most long-distance sniping, the rifle is still the best for that. But the Huntsman allows for quick shots popping out from behind a barrier/corner and shooting as you hop back behind the barrier.
This is particularly useful when accompanying a push against a defense, popping out and firing arrows at the defenders, behind the frontline players. This technique is also good against entrenched enemy rifle snipers at choke points. More often than not, they will have the advantage over you, as they do not need to move, and can maintain their aim on a point right where you will pop out to fire an arrow. Sometimes you can get them, but more often they will have given you a third eye socket before you can fire the bow. So take a couple of shots if you can. If you hit him, great. If not, you can at least get a good read on his location via deathcam.
Then, lie in wait, until a heavy or a soldier arrive to go around that same corner. There isn’t a rifle sniper alive who will not immediately follow that target for the headshot, and even if he gets the kill right away, the reload time is more than enough for you to pop around the corner and pin him to the wall. If it’s a soldier or heavy though, with a medic, your odds of a kill without losing a teammate goes up, as there is a split-second minimum decision-making time where they have to decide on the easy target, or the harder-to-hit but higher-value-target medic. Even if you miss the kill and get in a body shot, it gets the sniper’s attention, and often will send him looking for first aid, since a charged shot does a lot of damage to the 150-health-laden sniper.
Diversions are the best way to take down enemy rifle snipers, but trying to find an angle that you can see him outside of his scope’s view is a close second, but by far the most satisfying is anticipation. Take a map like Badwater Basin, with BLU pushing the cart toward the second point. Red snipers love to pop out from behind the building, behind the Jersey Barriers, looking back up the tracks towards BLU’s approach. There’s a rhythm to effective sniping there, getting the shot off, and hopping behind the building for the reload and recharging of the scope. Then easing back out and repeating the process. As a bow sniper, you should watch for the pattern/rhythm, and anticipate when the sniper is going to ease back out, and try to deliver an arrow to that point as he comes out from behind the wall. The advantage here is you can fire the arrow, and while it is in flight, you can be ducking back behind the rocks or a wall, and be safely out of the scope’s sights in case the arrow misses or hits the body.
Pyros, on behalf of bowsnipers everywhere, thank you for lighting our arrows on fire.
The other reason to be on the frontlines as a bowsniper is Jarate. There have been many times on a payload map I have topped the leaderboard almost exclusively on kill assists obtained by throwing a jar of urine on a group pushing the cart, and letting a heavy or pyro clean house. Each of those kills are points in your tally, and all you had to do is perform a natural biological function you would have done anyhow, just in a jar and throwing the jar at someone. Medics will also love you if you jarate them after an unfortunate encounter with a pyro.
There are times to not carry a Jarate though. Like when you are playing a map that favors your arch-nemesis, the Scout. The only way to effectively defend against a Scout as a bowsniper is to pull out your SMG and empty a clip at him. Once they are within effective scattergun range, it is extremely difficult to shoot them with the bow, so you will want the SMG and kukri combination. The other classes, though, are all vulnerable to the bow/jarate combination, and the usefulness of Jarate far outweighs the lack of machine gun.
June 10th, 2010 by
OK, well get it if you have a Mac. Here’s what you get:
Team Fortress 2 (this weekend it’s half-price to buy, free to play!)
A new movie!
What the hell else do you need? Also, Valve has made it so that it doesn’t matter if you are on a PC or a Mac, you all play together. That’s pretty goddamned awesome.
So stop reading this, go get it!
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June 3rd, 2010 by
I love my iPod Touch. I have a ton of little apps, games, and it has a much better interface for managing my music and podcasts than my old iPod. Did I mention it has games too?
I admit, my tastes in gaming are pretty hard to satisfy on a hand-held, nevermind an iPod, but there are a few exceptions that I love to play. Plants Vs Zombies is such a great game it works on whatever platform you want to play it on. Most of the various Doodle games (DoodleBowling, DoodleFlyToTheMoon, etc) are really good too, with a mindless sort of replay value that draws me in.
But one of the real surprises to me was Battle Bears: Zombies!, a twisted game with a dark sense of humor that really appeals to deviants like myself. The game starts out with a short movie featuring a grizzled veteran teddy bear escaping from hordes of sweet carebear-style creature, that when shot bleed rainbow blood.
When his mode of transport is shot out from under him, he is forced to make a valiant stand against the hordes of sweet lovable little bears coming to hug him to death.
While mowing down the hordes of nightmarish lovecreatures is wonderful, the best parts of the game are the movies that accompany the unlocking of new weapons…
…and the arrival of bosses.
It’s a short game, but has good replay value, and also has a couple of other game modes available after you finish the game for the first time, Survival and Boss Trials. The game is $1.99 with a free “lite” version available that does not have cutscenes and all the weapons, but good to try before dropping the $2. For the money, though, I definitely recommend the game. I might not play it as much as PvZ or Bookworm, but it’s a great game, especially if you are a twisted bastard like myself.
June 2nd, 2010 by
I have not been blogging much lately. Changes in jobs and schedules really demolished a lot of the drive I had and time to do it, but also a lot of my blogging was based on stuff I found and wanted to share with people. The upswing in Facebook and Twitter takes care of both of those needs a lot easier and with much less time invested, and if nothing else, I’m all about that. Plus there’s a certain amount of inertia, once I stop doing something, it’s hard for me to get back into it and not try and start new projects.
But there’s a problem with both forms of social media, they are both limited in the amount of information you can put in a single entry, and the nature of both places means that the audience for them is very limited for privacy concerns. So I have decided to get back into updating my two sites regularly, even though I may not have much of an audience for them anymore, for my own satisfaction.
Part of this is spurred on by The Thirty Days Project and a number of friends of mine participating. I didn’t want to sign up and get involved on that end, but rather take it as a personal challenge to get back into something that I let fall by the wayside. I have complete faith in my ability to not follow through with it, but am willing to see how far I can take it.
Here is my plan: to update at least one of my two sites each day, preferably both of them. Each entry will be at least a paragraph, and hopefully be about a different topic each day. I will post links to each article on my Facebook and Twitter accounts, so everyone will know right away when I fail.
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