Steam and the Great Gift Pile

This year Steam has granted us with more Christmas discounts but this time they added a little "fetch the achievement" game.

 Every day Steam selects six achievement that range from "open your inventory" to doing some in-game achievement. Once completed you are awarded with a gift or a lump of coal. You can trade 7 lumps of coal for a gift which is either full game or a coupon, games and golden coupons can be used immediately while regular coupons like the lumps of coal must wait until the event ends.

Honestly i don't see the purpose of the coupons, so far i have gained 3 of them and the discount they give is smaller than the ones Steam are doing for Christmas, so why would i use a coupon if i can get it cheaper now... its ridiculous!

After the event in January 2nd everyone with 10 items in the wishlist will enter in a contest where the top accounts with more lumps of coal may win some awesome prizes:

As you might have guessed, this is an effort to showcase and sell older and lesser known titles, which are even cheaper with the Christmas discounts and not all bad, in fact, some of the most entertaining and innovative games out there are small titles.

So far i am actually having fun doing these achievements and trying out new games i never even new existed, some of them have potential, others just aren't my type but they were fun for the short duration i played, i am however still hoping to get a full game as a gift...

Aion is going Free-To-Play!

  After 2 years in the European and North American market(3 years since the Asian release) with a subscription model, it is now going to use a mix of both free-to-play and subscription.

  There will be 3 payment models now:
  • Starter: this one is the most basic with limited amount of character slots, chat, trading.
  • Veteran: basic for old players and upgradable for Starter players, they can play the regular game with no limitations.
  • Gold: this is the subscription model which gives significantly lower instance cooldowns, several xp and reward bonus.
  This also brings a bigger change, NCsoft will no longer publish Aion in Europe instead this honor will be bestowed to GameForge the leading European publisher of free to play online games that brings us well known titles such as Metin, OGame and 4story.

  Hopefully this change will bring to this game what any MMO needs to have... a larger player-base.
  Have you played Aion in the past? Will this change make you try it again?

Guild Wars 2: Engineer overview

  The Engineer is an uncommon profession in a fantasy MMO mainly because it is a technological class and since most fantasy games are centered in medieval times there isn't much room for guns and explosions.

  Of all professions the Engineer is the one with the least weapons and the only one with a single weapon set.
The Rifle and the double Pistol can be used to a good extent in long and close range as both have a immobilization skill however i am going to give the advantage to the Rifle because Jump Shot is an incredibly adaptable skill and i will explain why.
Basically this skill will make you leap forward while doing an AOE at both your current and targeted area, this can be used in several ways:
  • Charge: use it to get close to your target while he gets hit by the landing AOE and then you can use your flamethrower in his face.
  • Flee: put some distance from your target if you need to make a run for it.
  • Double AOE: select the area beneath you and who ever is nearby will get hit by the AOE two times.
  • Travel/Positioning: since you don't need a target you can use it to reach your destination or to gain access to some locations faster.
  The Shield comes with 2 abilities one to protect you and your team while the other is both defensive and offensive as it absorbs a projectile which you can then redirect at a target.

Tool belt
  This is the Engineers special feature. It give you a predefined additional skill for each of your healing and utility skills making it a total of 4 extra abilities. In the image bellow we can see that the player chose "Med Kit" as his 6th skill and gained "Bandage Self" shown in the F1 slot.

  This type of skill is unique to anything we have seen before, what this does is replacing your curret 5 weapons skills with 5 new things according to the Kit until you turn it off, as an example we can look at the above image and notice that the player is currently using the Flamethrower weapon kit which as replaced the first 5 weapon skills.

  My personal favorites will probably be the Flamethrower, Mine Kit and the Med Kit the last ones being the most simplistic as they only let you drop 5 bandages/mines but they have the highest strategic value.

  They are deployables that help us reinforce our site and you can have more than one as long as they are of different types, so it is possible to have a Flame turret, a Rifle turret, a Healing turret and a Thumper turret(aoe) at the same time... i am looking forward to test this.
  I have however one problem with the Rifle Turret... it's REALLY UGLY! (see image bellow)

  Overall the Engineer is one of my favorite professions, the arsenal at his disposal probably the largest of all professions and it has a lot of support skills giving this class one of the best tactical advantages in the game if you plan the fight ahead of time.

Guild Wars2: new class revealed!

  After nine long months of waiting ArenaNet finally decided it was time to show us the eighth and final profession available in Guild Wars 2: the Mesmer, which honestly was not a surprise to anyone as they already had announced it was a known magical class so by process of elimination it had to be it.

So what can we expect from the Mesmer profession you ask?

Illusions & Shatter
  The Mesmer main class mechanic is their ability to summon illusions(Clones or Phantasms) which take form of several(up to 3) uncontrolled NPCs that look like the caster and the ability to Shatter them on command applying several effects on nearby targets.

  Clones are exact copies of the player designed to confuse and they deal minimal damage so my initial thoughts were "that's awesome", but in practice it might be horrible because in order for it to be convincing you need the AI to behave like a player(unlikely since even the ranger pet which is a class mechanic is dumb as hell), or you can behave like a NPC meaning you most likely have to run in a straight line to your target which may not be the best idea, either way the player will be easy to spot and the clone will only be good to Shatter.

  Phantasms resemble the caster as well but they are translucent and purplish, they use illusionary weapons to damage or hinder your target, are more resilient then their cousin Clones and they have specific behavior according to the weapon they hold which varies depending on the casters weapon when summoned.

No more Hexes
  That's right, Hexes have been turned into visual illusions so players don't have to stare at the debuff bar like most typical MMOs which i find refreshing, however there is one particular example that they talked about i find weird... the old "backfire" hex is in the game and works exactly the same way(damage is dealt if the target uses an ability) but since it now takes the form of a illusion i imagine you get this weird npc looking at the target until it does something? how creepy is that?

  My only concern at this time is that Engineers have turrets, Ranger has a animal companion, Necromancer has minions, Elementalists can have a Elemental, Mermers have Illusions, even Guardian can summon a flying hammer for a time, that is 6 out of 8 profession have "pets" so the game may or may not turn into a summon fest which will most likely ruin gameplay for me, hopefully there will be lots of skill combinations to choose from so it will be unlikely to happen.

  Other then that i think the Mesmer essence from Guild Wars is still there and it will be extremely fun to play with. What are your thoughts, is the Mesmer what you expected?

War Inc Battlezone

  Couple of days ago i saw an advertisement for a game called War Inc, at first i dismissed it simply because i have little faith in free games... however after i saw some gameplay footage in youtube i thought i should give it a go, in the end i am glad i did as it is indeed a interesting game.

  Registration is straight forward and very quick after which you are prompted to create a character and spend your first stat point, this is one of the key aspect that i find interesting in the game as you have several unique stats that help you enhance your gameplay according to how you like to play. There is a great number of ways to customize your character from several pieces of armor to a large array of weapons and a few slots used for skills and utility items such as mines and grenades.

  The concept of the game is fairly simple and similar to the Battlefield game but without the vehicles, you start the map on your teams default spawn location and proceed to capture several objectives by simply standing near the capturing flag, once it is claimed it will slowly give the points needed to achieve victory.

   Players have very little health and there is no HP bar other then a visual effect so a well placed grenade or mine will instantly kill you, this adds to the realism effect making your actions and awareness extremely important but you regenerate in seconds, anyway you should avoid open areas and move from cover to cover.

  One interesting thing worthy of note is that unlike most shooter games reloading a half used magazine in War Inc will throw away the remaining bullets, this makes ammunition important but you can always pick up a weapon from the floor.

  Overall the game makes player skill really matter as most fights are decided in a instant but since the respawn timer is short you are constantly getting into the action.
Its fun and its free there is no reason not to try it unless you don't like shooters.

The Life-cycle of online games

 Some players seem to forget that the gaming industry is a business run by game companies funded by money investors who do not give a damn about the players, so it is always about the money and therefore is run as a business.

Online games are a two part product, one being the actual game box called the "traffic generator" because it is what leads people into spending money and the second part which is the the "margin generator", in this case we are talking about the in-game shop or the monthly subscription.

In most cases the "traffic generator" is made cheaper in order to attract clients thus having a lower contribution margin, the perfect example of this are the free-to-play game which cost nothing for you to start playing thus attracting the masses that can't or don't want to spend money even though most of them eventually do, the subscription model however slightly exploits this as we are going to see in the product stages.

So what are these stages? In business management all products go through several stages called the "product life-cycle" but i won't bore you with the details, instead i will talk about the game changes in each stage from a players perceptive.
Hyped players at a midnight launch

1. Market introduction stage
2. Growth stage
3. Maturity stage
4. Saturation and decline stage

On the first point when the game is still in development they start to increase the hype of their product for several reasons, the most basic one is to get the more players interested in the game, the second one because players do a leap of faith fueled by their own expectations multiplied by the hype and this is where most subscription based companies exploit the price a bit, since they know most players will buy the game anyway they increase the cost of the game to match the standard industry price for games in general, the difference is that most games with that cost do not have subscriptions so the game-box money is their only revenue source however subscription games get money from both models.

The Growth stage is after the game is launched, they will keep adding new fun stuff and making the game truly better by putting an effort,lots of quick patches, free extra content, cool new event, etc...

Maturity stage is achieved after the game is around for a while, most players are reaching the limits of what can be done in the game and the developers excitement starts to waver, they no longer listen to players and start to do things in a formulaic method by reusing content, making older content easier to motivate you to play with another character thus expecting players to stay around a bit longer.

The final stage of saturation and decline is when the players start to see the mind numbing content for what it really is and begin to leave, the companies see their player-base getting reduced so they announce the new expansion with the "never before seen features" thus starting the hype and setting the cycle back to stage one.

Any player with enough experience under his belt has been a part of this at one point or another.
Share your thoughts and experiences on the comment section bellow!

why most new games fail while Counter-Strike is still so popular

  The first time i played Counter-Strike i was in high-school and the game was still a unofficial Half-Life modification, at that time it was closer to a quake-like game with modern weapons then what it is now, but i will leave that for another topic.
  For those that don't know what Counter-Strike is, it's a First Person Shooter developed by a fellow player made from a game called Half-life that is why it was a "modification",  i use the past tense because once Valve saw the amount of people playing it, they bought the rights to the game and thus it became an official mod soon after and it became a stand-alone game later on.

The popularity
  The game popularity and success can be resumed into 1 word, "community" it's a bit vague yes but i will explain it in further detail later on , first we need to understand that this game was developed by a player meaning he knew what he wanted to play, i think its something most game developers have lost now-a-days they just build games around a franchise with 1 concept "making money", this reason is why most Indie(small companies) games are so entertaining to play, because it's not million dollar company with people who don't know a thing about gaming breathing down your neck.

ESL tournament at GamesCom
  Anyway Counter-Strike was made with an aspect in mind "for everyone", even back then you didn't need a top of the line PC to play it so most kids with a computer and a copy of Half-Life could play it, and keep in mind that back then internet was still the noisy old 54k modems and it was not that common, so most of us used to spend a lot of time playing in game store with about 20 PC linked over LAN, honestly the most fun way to play any game is to physically be with your team just like in most LAN tournaments which if you are a true gamer you have already gone to some, if not i recommend that you go if you have the chance you will love it.

  The rules of the game are very straight forward, team A vs team B fight inside a small closed map, just imagine an arena with streets and tunnels, many games have this even MMORPGs so why is the game still one of the most popular FPS games for over a decade?

  Well this is where the community comes in, as the number of players grown they started to make teams in which to compete with each other for bragging rights and so player-made competitive PvP was created and started to spread, since making a server was free players would make their own server so they could train with their team adding tactics into the game, eventually some companies started to provide high quality server for rent and now-a-days its fairly common to see game-server rentals for many types of games.

So what is missing in games today?
  This is more of a formula rather then just one thing, first games need to be able to be played by a large audience so they need to keep the game optimised for low-end computers rather then just focus on how awesome it can get with a top of the line one which seems to be what most games do, some people might upgrade the computer if they are really into it but most can't afford to do it.

MLG tournament
  Second is taking advantage of tournaments, people are competitive by nature even caveman would compete for the largest prey to show who was the best hunter, we are not that different as even the PvE players like to kick another players ass every now and then. So just like a great deal of people like to sit in front of the TV looking at whatever competitive sport they like(football, basketball, baseball...), we players also like to see competitions online as it is a sport of its own plus its probably the best publicity one can get specially at large events such as E3, GamesCom, etc...

  The third one is mainly for MMORPGs but some shooters still fail at it, is to allow players to fight guild vs guild(clan vs clan) for bragging rights, and im not talking about just Arena type gameplay like WoW has but for all types of objective based PvP.
  In the begining of this year a shooter named Global Agenda was released and it did not have a way for players to effectively do this and the results was the game losing most of its player-base within the first 2 months.

  A game that follows these simple rules will most likely last for years assuming there isn't something deeply wrong with it to start with, which is one of the reason i am looking forward to Guild Wars 2.

What are your thoughts on the subject?
Do you know any game that failed due to this?

Leave your comments or experiences bellow!

Guild Wars 2: Ranger pets receiving some love!

  Every Guild Wars fan or at least one that likes to watch videos, knows how the Ranger class has been among the weakest in the game, this is due to its special mechanic is the "pet system" because quite honestly its just bad from the AI to its utility, so bad in fact its probably the least played profession and the hardest to find videos of and its common for most rangers to just ignore/forget they even have a pet.

  The truth is the pet being the Class mechanic means it has a major role in the overall output of the profession and AreaNet knows this so they started to give it the love they have been promising for a while.

Pet Controls
  I don't know why the game did not had this from the start, but at least now pets have 2 modes, active and passive, being the first allowing your pet to automatically attack your target and in the second it will do nothing until you tell him to.

Pet Evolution
  Before Rangers had to tame and level up his pet, even though its fun the first time considering that you have multiple pets to choose from it gets annoying if you need to do it from scratch, this has been changed, Pet will now always have the Rangers level and their stats will be determined by its species.

Pet Species and Families
  All animal companions now belongs to a species and each species belongs to a family, for example a polar and a brown bear are different species withing the Bear family. The species will determine the stats of the pet and a Unique skill that needs to be manually used by the ranger while the Families will determine the 3 basic pet skills that determine the pets role and are automatically used by the pet.

   Ranger will no longer need to tame pet they already had before in order to play with it, by taming a pet from a specie it will unlock it for you so you from then on you can equip that species into any pet slot as long as you are out of combat, this means that a single ranger can tame all species and have a huge collection of pets to choose from.

In-Combat Pet Switching
  Yeah that's right, Ranger now have the ability to switch between 2 pet slots on the fly even while in combat, if pet is dead it will still switch however it will increase the switching ability cooldown but the pet will be alive and with full health next time you call for him.

Extra pet slot
  As of now Ranger have an additional slot from the previous 3 making a total of 4 slots, 2 terrestrial and 2 aquatic with amphibious pets will of-course be able to take any of the types, this will allow the Ranger to have more variety adding to its already versatile gameplay.

  I for one am happy so see this as Ranger is probably going to be the first character i will play with, however i would still prefer if we had a choice between a having a pet or something else like a quiver that allows the ranger to switch arrow types thus adding effects/conditions to the arrows or a trap bag that would allow the ranger to have several more active traps.

But its still a happy day for us Rangers...

How to increase your wireless signal!

After waiting 27 long suffering days without internet at home, they finally managed to come and install the damn fiber optics with some good/bad news, the first is that they called asking if they could come 8 days a head of schedule... yay!
Second bit is both good news is that even though i have contacted 30mb download and 5mb upload speed, i can get up to 2x the download and 4x upload if i am connected via Ethernet unfortunately there is a bit of bad news there as well, the router is in the kitchen and the PC is in the bedroom so i have to use wireless which only gaves me about 1/3 download and 2x upload.

Which leads me to the main topic, my project for the coming days will be trying to enhance my wireless connection to see if i can boost my download speed, which will involve some configuration tweaking and making a low tech parabolic reflector made with some tinfoil like the image below.

Unfortunately my router(Thomson TG784) has no external antenna, otherwise there are some better schematics around the web but we do what we can with what we have.

In theory it should reflect part of the waves in the direction of my PC thus increasing the strength of the signal i receive and there fore allow the wireless to work at a slight higher speed therefore increasing my download speed.

One thing that i already done was manually test all 13 channels on my router, by default selects what ever he thinks its best(and fails) and there is no "1 channel to rule them all" and since channels may get interferences from different sources, from electronics to other nearby wireless using the same channel, its best for you to check it out your self... be sure to find the most stable one and not the one with highest signal strength.

I my case it came down to channel 4 or 5, the 4th was the one with the highest strength but the 5th had the most consistency even though a bit less signal, the result was a stable connection that in fact gave me higher download speed, after this was done it boosted my both download and upload by about 5-7mb.
"Pringles cantenna"
Another thing i may try is to boost my usb adapter maybe  with a "pringles can", it works with the same principle as the parabolic reflector by increasing the amount of waves going in the right direction and focusing more incoming waves into the receiver.

Hopefully now will be able to post more often now that i can actually play something, i will keep you guys posted on my search for a better wireless...

Why i love Samsung!

I have been playing in a Samsung T220 for the last 3 years and it has been a pleasure, great image quality, great aesthetic and the support at least where i live is fast and effective.

Over the course of 3 years i only had to send it for repairs once and not only did they came to pick it up on the very next day they also gave me replacement monitor until i got mine back(about a week after) which was fast anyway.

This week my monitor started displaying some blueish tone on the dark colors, meaning something was starting to fail and i went to check how long i had on my warranty which sadly had expire couple of days ago, it was a chock because i wasn't counting on spending  around 200$ any time soon.

So i sent it to repair anyway hoping it will cost less then a new monitor, as always they came to get my monitor on the next day and 7 days later i got a call early in the morning, it was from the repairing company they noticed the warranty had terminated just a couple of days before, so they contacted Samsung and they agreed in adding the days the monitor was on repair last time(about a week) to the warranty thus making this repair still valid...

Long story short i didn't had to pay for the repairs.
Thank you Samsung!

ISP frustration!

I'm so pissed at my ISP and i'm going to tell you why. I have internet connection at home since the 4th of October so the only net i get is from public places, on October 6 i made contract with a ISP and they said it would take 15 days(yeah that's right) for them to install the fiber optics in my apartment... fine at least i'll have a awesome stable internet connection.

After 15 miserable days i was so looking forward to having internet again and... they didn't show up and i got no calls from their IT department, on the next they i called them and they said something was not right (duuhh) so they asked their IT department to call me when ASAP.

Two days later and still no call so i when to a nearby ISP store, they said the contract was not created correctly and i should talk directly to the same store where i signed it so they can correct it, there i went again to the other store this time i heard another story, according to them everything was done right and the installation should have been done in the 21st, so the store is going contact the IT department and again tell them to call me...

I'm stuck in this loop where no one wants to be blamed and still no internet connection... So that is why i am pissed and why i haven't been online much thus the lack of posts this month.

Orcs Must Die: Review

I have been playing this single-player game named "Orcs Must Die!", well for starts the title is catchy but it doesn't stop there as the main plot is ridiculous has well.
You start as a young misbehaved student that is forced to defend the masters fortress who after countless years of slaying orcs, slips in a blood stain and hits his head thus dying in a ridiculous fashion. To defend the castle you must protect the Rift from waves of feeble-minded orcs. Now this is the interesting part, you can either kill the orcs by shooting them with a crossbow, slashing them with a sword, blowing them with explosive barrels or arrange a set traps to do the work for you.

Simply put the game is a interesting mix of Evil Genius and Tower-Defense with third person shooter gameplay, the only CON about the game is the lack of multi-player, if they had added a way to COOP it would be on the top of my "best games of 2011"... maybe they will add it in an expansion but either way its a good game and its worth the price.

Internet and our life

I have not been online for a long time... ok it was been a little over a week but for a gamer like me it's a life-time, once we get used to the concept of having all the information on the web and online-friends at our fingertips and suddenly lose that connection its like going back to the dark ages, our real life daily routine starts to weight more on our shoulders.
Each person has its own reasons for being online doesn't matter if you are in the gaming community or not, whether you like to search/download new music, learn some new trait, reading world news or just login to your game of choice and play to gain a ego-boost, kill time, to be with your gaming friends or as an escapade from our boring life... to each its own.

For me life has become tedious, i miss the long conversations over Ventrilo with my guild mates while we played or with my friends over Skype, doesn't matter if it was gaming related or not it has become part of my social life.

Most people get attached to something in their life they can't live without, for some its sports, for others is the TV, for teens now-a-days it's a cellphone, i guess for me it's a decent internet connection at home.


I recently found a little game called Bastion from a indie company named SuperGiant Games, it's a single-player action RPG that tells the story of a white-haired kid who survives a cataclysmic event called the Calamity.
The story continues as the kid tries to make the best of the situation in this floating magical world, eventually reaching the Bastion an emergency location where people are supposed to meet and rebuild and it goes on from there...

One interesting and unique feature of this game is the way the story is told, it doesn't have the typical text-quests or cut-scenes instead there is a narrator that provides a fluid yet constant reactive commentary to what happens in the screen which gives and added flavor to the gameplay, it's like reading a book while watching the action happening at the same time

Overall Bastion is a very interesting title definitely worth the rather small price it costs.
As with all things there is no better way to understand it then seeing it, i will leave you with this video showing the first minutes of gameplay... enjoy!

What is ArcheAge? (part 2)

Previous article: What is the Labor system and how Gathering & Crafting works

Last time we talked about how the Labor System combined with Gathering and Crafting, now we are going to take a glimpse at how Construction works in ArcheAge works as it is one of the most anticipated features in the game and the one one of the first things that was shown as the game was reviled to the community.
In ArcheAge is it possible to construct so many things, from several types of buildings to your own personal ship for naval warfare, this is the first feature i saw in this game several years ago that opened my eyes to the possibilities that it will bring to the game world, i will leave you first in a magical journey with this fantastic video that shows what amazing things can be achieved with this system and get a general idea how it works.

House Building
First of all we can't just build anywhere there are limited areas for construction to avoid blocking roads and such, so we need to attain a plot a land which is gather large, after that you go into building mode where you can rotate and place your selected house anywhere withing your land, but the house won't just pop out, you start with the house's foundation and you will have to gather the materials and have the necessary Labor Power to build it, how you will get the Labor power is up to you, use your guild members, pay some players or rent some NPCs it's your choice, eventually you can build walls to protect your town and gain money from taxes from both local merchants and players living within your domain.

Naval Construction
In ArcheAge it is also possible to build ships for your guild which can be used for several things, use them to explore the world, to conquer the sea or hunt sea monsters. To build a ship you first need to build a shipyard, for that you go to the harbor and select an area where it will be built and once its complete you can start constructing your ship, just like the house building you need materials and Labor Power.

What is ArcheAge? (part 1)

The first time i read about ArcheAge i was intrigued because i never heard of it before however, it had such amazing unique features that i never saw in any other mmo, it simply blew my mind how an unknown company could come out with such high quality game.

The reasons why its not that well known in the gaming community its because it's being developed by a Korean company(XLGames) and the lack of marketing, which might be a good thing because since the game isn't ready yet and they should use their funds for development instead.

ArcheAge is a Sand-Box MMO, a game that where the world evolves by the players hands by changing and interacting with the environment, which leads us to the Crafting and Gathering but in order to fully understand how it works we must first look at the Labor system.

Labor Power
There are 3 main stats in the game, Health Points, Mana Points and Labor Points, the last is the it is the main source for production, construction, crafting and gathering as well as certain entertainments for those who want to use them in social activities such as going to a party.

The Labor Points regenerate slowly over time, according to some beta-testers its about 1 point every 10 min and you will receive them whether you are online or offline up to limit which in the beta was 100 points, meaning it will take about 17 hours fill the bar. The Rate of use however is much higher as it depends on what exactly are you trying to do, crafting a simple item for example costs 1 LP but mining a node can cost 2 or 3 LP depending one the difficulty of what you are mining.

It is also possible to pay other players for their Labor or rent NPC's to use as labor for your constructions, so needless to say that building with a guild is far more effective.

Crafting and Gathering
Most gathering nodes have several stages each will give a different amount of material or a diferent one entirely, for example:
  • an ore node has 3 stages a fresh unbroken stone, broken stone with ore showing, and broken stone with minerals showing, the stages will give you stone, metal and crystals respectively and the second and third stages may not spawn at all, also since the Labor Points are somewhat scarce there is no point in wasting it in something you have no use for unless you think it maybe profitable if you sell it.
  • a tree will give a number of logs according to its size, so its better to chop down a big tree and let the smaller one grow(yes trees grow)
 The number of gathering materials is very varied, you can grow you own herb garden, forest, crops, you can pick apples... and the list goes on.
There are no Crafting professions, meaning you can craft what ever you want providing you have the recipe and the materials, just go to the correct crafting tool(anvil, mannequin, etc...).

Next on Part 2: How House and Naval contruction works

New Design!

Hey guys, i have been doing some changes to the blog over the past 24h and this was the final result, i really enjoy how it turned how and need a lot of tweaking to get it work properly but it was worth it.

The main reason for the changes are apart from the obvious awesome look, its now much more organized as you can browse the posts by their category and the search will now automatically search and show what you are looking for within this website.

Hope you enjoy it as much as i do.

Global Agenda: Recursive Colony

  Recursive Colony is the first large expansion of the third person shooter Global Agenda since it became free to play. The theme of this expansion is an invasion of a horde of self-replicating robots that is menacing the player Domes them selves, so it is up to you to stop it reclaim peace within the Domes once again.

   From what i see it adds some new content both for PvE and PvP, some much requested features like the ability to select a new character without disconnecting and some other main features such as:
  • New Open Zone with several instanced missions, quest chains, mid-high level content, and social spaces
  • New enemies – including world bosses and instanced mission bosses
  • Daily Repeatable Quests – for solo agents and teams. Some quests take place in zones, while others send teams into Recursive Colony hive nodes and ruins. These quests include new 4-man defense Raid missions – now available to smaller groups (1-4) at lower levels (20+)
  • New Dyes, Flair, and Trails – rewards for winning missions, completing daily quests, rare bot drops and achievements
  • New Pets – new pets available as rewards and crafted items.
  • New Blueprints – for consumables and mods
  • Easier crafting – components now within the zone, to help with leveling crafting skills
  • New PvP Map – Push Dust will be entering the Merc queue from Beta
  • New PvP Acquisition/CTR Map – Colony Caverns will be entering the Beta Queue
  • Revamped Intro Missions – Tutorials now include class-specific elements to help train new players
  • Some quests now affect the state of the world (example – Brownouts in Dome City…)
  • Ability to transfer between different Open Zone instances (and VR Arena)
  • Open Zone cross-instance chat channels
  • Disconnect to Character Select Screen without re-login
  • Improved Vendor Item Previewing

I will try the new content soon, hope to see you in-game!

Star Wars: TOR, The Alderaan Warzone

  The Alderaan warzone - like the name implies is a pvp instanced area, just like in any other MMO but it has a BioWare touch to it, by that i mean that like other of their games it has a more theatrical feeling to it but with the help from the team from Warhammer Online it still feels like a competitive pvp match.

  On to explaining why... the players start the match in a one of two large dropships one for the Republic and one for the Empire,  the objective is to secure the map by taking control of its defenses which are some cannons that are spread around the map which will fire upon the enemy dropship thus eventually destroying it, the central cannon is the largest one meaning the one that will do most damage so its where most of the action will be focused at.

  There is no "respawn timer", instead you just wait for several seconds while your character returns to the fight which is done by speeder bike thus adding a cinematic feel to the game. In the end if you want to break the game into basics its just the typical capture and hold battleground but those elements are nicely hidden making it look like something new.

Micro-transaction games growing stronger!

  A multiplayer online games market data that tracks both PC massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) and multiplayer online games (MOGs) that have a charged service this includes subscription and micro-transaction payments, has revealed that the subscription sector has suffered a heavy decline in 2010 while the micro-transaction type grew ever strongly.

  With this information  IHS Screen Digest expects the MMOG/MOG segment to grow from $2.7 billion in 2010 to $3.1 billion by 2015 due to the growth driven by microtransaction-based services in both the MMOG and MOG sub-segments.
Read the full article Here.

  This is most likely either due to the economic crisis world-wide as players try to go to free to play games or due to the fact that free to play games no longer have that "cheap" feeling and are starting to have as much quality as the the subscription games.

Dead Island

 If i could put the game into a small sentence it would be "a world with quests like Fallout 3 with the weapon customization of Dead Rising combined with the first person feel and co-op of Left 4 Dead", however this would not be fair as the game brings many other things that makes it entertaining.

You start your journey with a cut-scene of this huge party in a tropical resort and end up drunk in your hotel bed without a clue that a huge zombie outbreak as set it self in the island, as you go on you will find survivors all around the island that require your assistance to get anything from food and water to parts to help fixing cars.

The combat is fun specially due to the variety of weapons(and their modifications), their random stats and the way they interact with your target, simply put blunt weapons break bones and bladed ones sever limbs... hint, this is specially useful for the large zombies that you can't knock-down.

So if you like survival games, if you love to transform your weapons and if you love kicking zombies in the head ,then this game has much to offer for you and for a long time as it will give you over 30 hours of co-op alone.

Guild Wars 2: skill bar

 We all know that GW2 is an action-type mmo and one of the aspect that was influenced was the skill bar, so today i am going to explain in detail how the it works as it is quite distinct from other games of the same genre.

 As we can see in the image above there a total of 10 skill slots divided in two types, basically the first 5 on the left are based on what weapon you currently have equipped and the last 5 are entirely up to the player, each of this two types is sub-divided into some specific skill types

Weapon skills
 This five slots are directly linked to your class and weapon type, meaning a ranger and a warrior with a bow will have a completely unique set weapon skills suited to their play-style.
Another thing that changes this five slots is which weapon you have in each hand, this is because you can use a large two-handed or used two one-handed weapons, simply put the first 3 slot are for main-hand and the other 2 are for the off-hand.

Profession skills 
 This set of 5 slots entirely customizable are sub-divided as follows, first one is a dedicated healing skill meaning you will always have 1 out of several abilities that will add to your survivability, the next three are utility skills which can be anything from buff to traps depending on your class and the last one is the elite skill that is powerful ability with a larger cool-down period.

 Skills can only be customized while out off combat you can however alternate between your two "weapon sets" while in-combat allowing your to be more versatile.
Some professions also have additional skill/buff/stances as their class mechanic as it can be seen in the first image above the weapon skills.

The Secret World

Many might not know this title but it has some strong roots, The Secret World is a new upcoming MMO from the creator of Age of Conan and The Longest Journey. It's purpose is to be distinct from your typical game as its neither futuristic nor it is the usual fantasy type, it in fact takes place in today's modern times but with a slight twist of the occult or has game Director Ragnar Tornquist describes it, "a world of contemporary dark fantasy".

In The Secret World the way players are introduced into the world is unique, you don't start in some remote location killing a few animals for some copper in fact you start the game as a regular person in one of 3 cities(New York, London or Seoul) going about doing typical day-by--day errands, but soon you start to see that some things are wrong and that those old frightening tales that you heard as a child are actually real as you dive into the occult.


One of the most impressive things about this game is that its lore is based in myths that we have all heard about, according to Ragnar Tornquist "it goes back 100 million years" from the Garden of Eden to Pandora's Box or even the Knights Templar.

Other interesting things about the game is that it will feature 3 opposing factions, the Illuminati, the Templars and the Dragon which i will talk about in another post and the lack of the typical experience bar in the character development.

I believe this game will be a breath of fresh air in this overcrowded gaming genre and i am looking forward to checking it in more detail!

What is "skill" in the gamers world?

I think most players have of been perverting the idea of "skill" to the point that now it is completely misinterpreted, the true meaning of "skill" is knowing how/when to do a certain action and will it influence the battle in order to achieve the desired outcome(victory).

Most players have forgotten how small action have a big impact in the gameplay and that shows skill, things such as:
  • knowing that you should run out of Range/Line-Of-Sight.
  • recognizing when to destroy an object so your target can not use it to break LOS.
  • knowing that a particular route can be used to attack/flee.
  • correctly place a ground effect such as a firewall in a place where it will be the most effective(specially while in combat).
  • using skills that have bonus when target is in a certain position/state.
  • positioning one self in a fight in order to avoid damage or to benefit from a boost.
Each of these small things seam obvious to most experienced players but it is easy to forget that they are examples of "skill" on their own, obviously doing one or two of them does not make one a "skilled player"... for that we need be able to do all of those and much more, however we should not dismiss the less experienced players who understand how to do them.

Becoming a "skilled player" is a long journey, one that even the best players had to partake as well, so next time you see some one that may not be as good as you instead of ridiculing his efforts, try to encourage him to become a better player... who knows it may very well be a start of a great friendship.

Guild Wars 2 PvP (Part 1): Let us go to War

  Today I want to talk about a very important aspect of the game, the PvP of Guild War 2. I believe in competitiveness and the ability to provide a wide array of choices for groups or single players to be ingredients for a healthy and lasting PvP community in a game. Now I'm going to list the PvP formats we know so far:

Hot Join
  "Hot Join" are games aimed for the casual side of structured PvP. From 1v1 and up to 10v10 matches, players can join any open map at any time, as much as to experiment new builds, or wanting a few quick exciting matches to get out of the PvE environment. The Hot Join has a mechanic that on a lost match, the server auto-balances the players on each team, once the round ends the server loads up the next match or players can reselect their own teams for their matches. This kind of setup allows players to find their favorite servers and build a community by playing more then one game with the same people.

  Tournaments are the competitive cookie in GW2. With matches of 5v5, the tournaments will run with varying frequency, and different reward levels will allow some players to gain experience and to just experience what this format entails in smaller tournaments while more-organized teams battle it out in the larger tournaments.

Tournaments come in the following flavors:
  • Pickup Tournaments: These single-elimination tournaments wait for 8 teams to join before starting. Once they start, they go through 3 rounds of eliminations, with winners receiving qualifier points.
  • Monthly Tournaments: For monthly tournaments, you'll need a certain amount of qualifier points to join.
  • Yearly Tournaments: These grand tournaments feature the winners from the monthly tournaments slugging it out for the right to call themselves the best PvP players of the year.
  • Player-Run Tournaments: These tournaments will be customized by players, allowing for great flexibility and unique bragging rights.

Guild Wars 2: a worthy successor to 2011 mmos

Today I want to talk about combat, there are many things worth mentioning about this game and I'll probably spread this for future posts, yet the reason I chose this topic is because I feel that it is one of the most important aspects of the game.

- Cross-class combo's, imagine a Elementarist setting a wall of fire and if someone shoots through it, the projectiles become imbued with the fire attribute dealing extra damage, or a guardian setting a healing circle on the ground and shooting through it will heal the allies in the vicinity of the enemy it hits. These are only a small example of the many combinations there will be in the game, sounds like fun? It sure does to me!

- Dynamic skill system, no longer are we restricted to combat skills only when there is a target present as with most games, for example, if you don't have a target and use a skill, if there is a potential target in the vicinity it will take damage and be auto-targeted, if not, the skill is still used. Did it ever make sense that those 2H weapons almost as big as our own characters never hit more then 1-2 targets? In GW each swing will hit everything within it's reach! Realistic? Flexible? More of that please!

- Customizable skills, although the left half of the skill bar is fixed depending on what weapon we have equipped, there are a big variety of weapons, each with different situation value translating into a wide array of actual choices, the right half is completely customizable much in the same spirit as GW1, plus you can customize it further with some feats that modify skills.

- Unique underwater combat, once you dive your normal skills no longer apply, you get a new set of skills that are exclusive for water combat, this skills have unique effects that would not be possible otherwise such as forcing an enemy to sink.

Eve online: Investment gone wrong

  It comes as a surprise to me that the news aren't about gold selling anymore... eight months ago, two players named Eddie and Mordor began to establish a reputation for themselves as online brokers. In reality, however, it was just the two of them taking in people’s money(aka ISK in-game) and giving back 5% every week as rewards from their "investment".

  Week after week the business snowballed, but not as the money raked in but players who didn't know they were throwing away their money in the guise of investments for the future. In short order, they had as many as 300 new investors each week. All throwing their ISKs at the pair for absolutely nothing in return except a guarantee. A guarantee that their money would be invested into some other worthwhile fund and would earn them a consistent 5% back every week. They weren't found out until they forwarded the a message on their "online trading site" saying it was all over.

  In case someone don't know what a Ponzi scam is and hasn't watched the news in awhile, a explanation: The investment broker, or whoever is running the scheme, offer a solid “investment” that they claim will pay out great sums of money overtime. But instead of investing this money as promised, the person will pocket the money and pay you your 5% out of the money you and others gave them. After a while, people are so happy with their consistent return that they invest even more money not knowing that it’s not going anywhere except the scheme operator’s bank account. As word of mouth spreads on this great investment, the scheme runner will start taking in more and more money while only paying out a consistent 5% every week. As people reinvest their money, the business expands almost exponentially...until they are found out or they stop paying out and make a run with everyones investment money.

  Over the years I have heard many such news in RL, it came as a mild surprise that this could spread to the online world, but the most suprising thing for me is that it reached the scale it did in such a long time with no one the wiser...don't people watch tv at least? Naturally CCP being themselves allows such schemes in the EVE universe so technically what they did isn't illegal, except maybe in the eyes of all the people that lost their money but that's another story....

Free to play MMOs a new trend?

  In the past couple of years we have seen a lot of MMORPGs going from P2P(pay to play) to F2P(free to play) mainly due to subscription decline as a way to regain some players while maintaining profit from the online shops.
  Most of this games were not made from unknown indy companies but from well established IPs and we are going to briefly talk about each one of them.

  Dungeons and Dragons Online launched on February 28, 2006 and remained a p2p MMORPG with a $14.99 monthly fee up until September 9, 2009. Since going free to play Dungeons and Dragons Online has more players than ever. Plus, the game’s publisher("Turbin") is reporting record revenues from the game.

  RF Online or Rising Force Online, launched on November 21, 2006 with a $14.99 monthly fee. The game was both developed and published by CCR International but only went free to play in late 2008.

  The Chronicles of Spellborn launched on April 23, 2009 as a p2p MMORPG with a subscription of $14.99 / month. The game’s developers went bankrupt in June 2009, the game’s publisher in North America announced that they would redevelop the game as a free to play title. Since going free to play – TCoS  has opened up to many more players.

  Lord of the Rings Online launched on April 24, 2007 after several expansions re-launched as F2P on September 8, 2010. Since their transition to a mixture of subscription/F2P model Executive Producer Kate Paiz announced that they have doubled both revenue and player-base.

  Age of Conan launched on May 20, 2008 was made F2P recently in a new expansion named Unchained on July 1st, 2011. On the first month since they gone F2P their player-base was increased by 300,000 accounts.

  It is clear from past experiences that the Free to Play model is a success, increasing both revenue and the player-base it is becoming more and more common now-a-days.

  I dislike F2P games because allowing players to buy item/buffs at a shop ruins immersion, any sense of accomplishment and the overall fun i have in the game, as a PvP(player vs player) lover i feel that the game is ruined once the "wining condition" becomes "who wasted more money".

  What do you think?

Tera: Political system

  For those who don't know Tera is one of the next-generation games of the MMO genre, or should i say action-MMORPG. It's most known features are the targeting, combat and political system, to keep this post small i will only talk about its political system.

  In Tera players can rise to fame through PvP, epic quests and via the popular vote to become 1 of 18 Vanarchs, these players are the rulers of their designated region and have the unique power to change the rules within their domain, such as changing the taxes, forbid(or not) world-pvp, opening new shops, make player-made events, change the spawn time of the mobs and even throw players in jail.

  Above the Vanarchs there are the Exarchs which we know very little about due to lack of information, however it is known that they supposedly have the power to affect entire continents.

  This is where the information stops and players start to wonder... will this be balanced? Can these politicians be overthrown? Can a big guild maintain constant power?
Maybe some of them will be answered at GamesCom, but until then we can only wait.

Guild Wars 2: Sylvari redesign

  It seems that the designers were not pleased with the initial look of the Sylvari race, apparently they looked too much like the typical elfs which are humanoids that embrace nature(tree-huggers?) and not the intended "beautiful  plants", so they started to redesign it to make it more like a humanoid plant and this was the result:

  Personally when i choose a race for my character i look at their animation and how cool the armor looks on them, i can't see their animation until it is shown in GamesCom but their armor seems to be entirely made out of plants as well which for me is a major turnoff, specially in a game were the typical cloth/leather/mail textures look so awesome.

  As a result this means that the Sylvari race is off-limits for me and it will be more then likely that most of my Guild Wars 2 characters will be Human.

World of Warcraft sustaining heavy casualties!

  We are on the second quarter of 2011 and it has been confirmed that Blizzard has lost over 300,000 World of Warcraft subscribers, adding to the losses in the first quarter it mounts up to 600,000+ subscribers that stopped playing in this year alone.

As a result of the decline the developers are forced to find out other ways to please their faithful customers by other means other "adding random content".
"As our players have become more experienced playing World of Warcraft over many years, they have become much better and much faster at consuming content..." - Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime
  Yes either that or Blizzard has dumbed down the genre to badly that even the newest of players needs little to no experience to overcome what ever "obstacles" also know as 'content' to get their gear which seems to rain from the skies in WoW.

  Obviously we don't expect blizzard to blame them selves, so instead they choose to pat the back of their players and say "hey its because you're THE MAN", raising their moral and maintaining the corporate facade... a text book example of Public Relations to minimize their losses.

Diablo 3: No Mods & No Offline...wut?

  Diablo 1 and 2 was part of my teen life, it brings back fond memories whenever I think back on the fun (and slightly masochist) times I spent with my friends in Hard Mode... now knowing that Blizzard forbids mods for a interface like Diablo 3 doesn't sway me much one way or another, the classic Diablo interface was never in much need for re-arrangings. And it’s no surprise they don’t want you modding the online game: it would rather undermine the item market.
  However it is a shame to know that there will not be a offline mode for Diablo 3, I very much enjoyed that aspect on the previous versions and considering how Starcraft 2 went way beyond standard limitations, the flexibility of the editor was such that you could create new games in it, I was rather hoping some of it would seep through to Diablo 3...

SW:TOR - (Raid Loot) trend for the future?

  It's come to my attention that Star Wars is on test phase regarding a new way to sort through loot drop from Operations(raids) in game, now any mmo gamer worth their salt should have experienced at least some of the few classic raid loot dramas, DKP system? Ninja looted? Well if this new system works out we can say goodbye to them and some more!
Loot containers' (name is still a work in progress!) do indeed exist and are designed to alleviate the frustration some feel around high-level loot drops.

As it's currently implemented, at the end of a key encounter within an Operation, upon looting a high-level opponent, everyone in the Operations group will get an individual container which has a chance to give you a random piece of loot that's specific to your class. It could be part of an armor set, a weapon, and so on. If you don't get loot, you'll get commendations which can be used to purchase gear.

Please note, this feature is currently in Game Testing and may well be modified before launch.
  • The items that do not drop for you (or do not appear in your loot bag) from boss kills can all be bought from the commendation vendor.
  • To access new flashpoints you have to clear beginner ones.
  • There will be no pre-raid armor grind. You will enter low-level raids in the armor you finished your story in.
  • Loot bags can contain upgrades for weapons and armor.
  This means that Raid-Loot will start to be a personal-drop instead of raid-drop, it will definitely help to avoid loot issues within guild members but will it turn guilds into randomized groups? Hopefully the tests will prove otherwise.

Diablo 3: Auction House

Just saw the announcement of the Auction House system that Blizzard is going to implement in the 3rd sequel of the Diablo series, it seems that players will be able to sell picked-up items in the AH for REAL MONEY, that's right it will be similar to a cash-shop, the only difference is that you can only buy items that dropped for someone else contrary to the cash-shops where the company creates the item for you.

So how will it work?
Its Simple you play the game as you have always done until some nice item drops, then you must make a decision... will you equip the item(and probably bind it to your character) or will you sell it... if you want to sell it you can sell it just like a regular AH but the bid will be done in real currency and Blizzard take a small percentage.

The community seems to be divided between opinions as some feel outraged and some say that its the best idea ever, Personally i am unsure of what to think, on one side these players that don't mind wasting money in a game can buy awesome items and gain an edge, but since the item needs to be dropped first the only difference is that the owner might not be the one it dropped to.

On the other side this idea will virtually eliminate Gold farmers all together because players can now sell their own stuff and gain money directly from Blizzard thus making Gold Farmers obsolete, also this will allow players to gain money by playing the game they like maybe even enough to be a decent profit.

Will this be the next generation of games? it may even make the "professional player" an actual profession... time will tell.

Powered by Blogger