Gaming Intel Dispatch 2017.2

April has been a pretty big month for me. The first big news is that I’ve passed the 500 followers mark on Twitch! Largely thanks to Steel Division: Normandy 44 and Ultimate Epic Battle Simulator. More on those games later, but those games were definitely good choices! My next big news is that I am now a Twitch Affiliate! I got in during the first wave, and within the first hour! I was so excited that I filled out all my info during the stream while running battles in the background. Being an affiliate means that people can cheer for me now, in the future I will get a share of revenue from games bought via my stream on Twitch, and that I will also eventually get a subscribe button which in turn means I need an emote! Any ideas, leave ’em in the comments! Finally I’ve added a currency bot at the request of some people to bet on games. It’s something I’m trying out, so feel free to give feedback. There are a ton of uses for it beyond betting, we’re only limited by our imaginations.

Games On Deck

There are some quick mentions  I want to make. Star Wars: Battlefront II made it’s little announcement. Not sure yet whether I’ll participate, but I wasn’t really wow’ed by the trailer. Next up is a game called Starfall Tactics. It’s a space RTS that also calls itself a wargame. Dunno what a wargame is, but the description sounds interesting. You can check out Starfall Tactics here. Another little news announcement is the Heroes of the Storm 2.0 launch. Lots of additions to the game, though it appears mostly cosmetic.

As I mentioned above I’ve been playing a lot of Steel Division: Normandy 44, and I’ll definitely be playing more in the future. It’s in early access now, but this may easily be my favorite strategy game when it fully launches. I’ve played two of the US Divisions so far, and had a ton of fun. I can’t wait to see what other divisions are in store. Eugen is slowly releasing new divisions as the game approaches full release on May 23rd.

Probably the most popular game right now is the Ultimate Epic Battle Simulator. I’ve created a little game that pits viewers against each other. If you’re interested in checking out the viewer battles, you can find out the basics here. You can also check out the YouTube video below, it’s one of the better battles I think.

Update: New T-Rex unit is AMAZING!

As for games I’d like to play more of in the next month, there’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, Helldivers, For Honor (which has a Roman soldier and Shinobi being added), and finally I’ve gotten multiple requests to play ARK: Survival Evolved. I’m gonna try and make that happen, but it seems like no matter what I plan, something unexpected always comes up.

Warhammer 40,000

Since there seems to be a sizable Warhammer 40,000 sub-audience, I’ve kept all this info together. There’s lots of big 40k news this month. The biggest probably being a new edition (8th, specifically) of the Warhammer 40,000 tabletop game coming out. I’ve got a buddy who wants to get into it, so I’m strongly considering joining him. I’ve wanted to put some tabletop gaming content on my site for the longest time, or just create a separate tabletop site. I’m really pushed for time though, and starting this hobby would only make it worse!

Of course the biggest news in the video gaming world is the launch of Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III. I have decided not to purchase it for now. I’m going to watch some gameplay, then evaluate it again come Steam summer sale time. I’m mostly concerned about the base building. Not sure if I enjoy base building RTS games anymore.

Since I really enjoyed Helldivers more than I thought I would, I’m looking a little more cloesely at Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor Martyr. It’s basically Diablo in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Lots of procedurally generated worlds, and a massive galaxy to explore. It’s in early development, but as it progresses it may be something I pick up.

I’m still hoping to find a group to play through Space Hulk: Deathwing. I’d really love to tackle this game again with some multiplayer. If you’re interested, be sure to check out my Tactics & Strategy guide. Don’t stumble around a deadly space hulk, storm it like a pro!

Update: Update 5 just hit for Space Hulk: Deathwing! New ‘Special Missions’ assigns random objectives for you to complete so it’s got a LOT more replayability. If you still need to pick it up first, here’s my Green Man Gaming affiliate link (Space Hulk: Deathwing is 15% off) and you’ll even help me out with a commission.

Finally, I came across a mobile game called Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade. You get to play as an Imperial Knight. I checked out the tutorial, and found the gameplay to be fun, and the graphics looking great. It’s free to play too so you can check it out for yourself.

Miscellaneous

A few more odds and ends. First up is this awesome study that says gaming at work may make you more productive. Read the article, show it to your boss, and lemme know how that works out for you. Next up is something for those that read comics. I got an email announcing Comixology Unlimited. It’s Amazon.com’s unlimited access service to digital comics. It’s not for every comic, so search the site for your comics of choice and look for the ‘unlimited’ banner. It’s just $5.99 so even if you just sub for a month to do some reading and then cancel, it may be worth it to you.

April Games Play and Purchase Data

As some of you may know, I keep track of my personal gaming habits on spreadsheets. I thought i’d try and turn it into something fun and interesting to look at. Check it out below, and if there are any other stats you think might be fun to track, let me know in the comments. I plan to add and iterate as time goes on.

Monthly Stats

That’s it for this post. I’m gonna try and do something like this each month. I’ve debated whether to do it at the end of the month, or the beginning of the month. If I do it at the beginning of the month, I can just add news as I come across it. The downside is unless people check back regularly, they’ll miss that news. Alternately if I do it at the end of the month, I can provide a more comprehensive update, it just won’t be as timely. Let me know what you think in the comments, along with any big news you think should be passed on.

Have a good one ladies and gents, and thanks for all your support across all my channels!

Constant Warfare for 2016

tom clancy's the division
It’s like year round Christmas this year.

2016 My Busiest Year EVER for Video Games Already

In the beginning, I was a one game kinda guy. World of Warcraft for 7 years straight, except a 3 month break where I played Tabula Rasa, but no WoW during the break. After WoW, I started playing multiple games. League of Legends, World of Tanks, City of Heroes, Wildstar, Heroes of the Storm all mixed in with the ‘main’ games of SWTOR and Guild Wars 2. Still, I was probably playing 2-3 games a year total.  So far in 2016 I have played Total War: Arena, The Division, The Isle, Total War: Rome II, Star Wars: The Old Republic (with Shintar!), ARK Surival Evolved (With Ravenal!), and it’s just now March. That’s six games already, and there are a ton more coming.

I plan to continue playing all of these games throughout the year.

  • Total War: Arena – It’ll be back eventually!
  • The Division – I want to unlock everything, and get full legendary gear. Then we’ll see how Dark Zone PvP goes.
  • The Isle – Luckily there is no progression yet. I can log in and just have fun.
  • Total War: Rome II – I want to at least finish my first campaign.
  • SWTOR – I’d like to start the new Knights of the Fallen Empire story, and of course play more with Shintar!
  • ARK – I want to find a home server, hopefully somewhere I could play more with Ravanel. Ideally if the opportunity arose($), i’d like to host my own server!

I can foresee The Division and Total War: Rome II dropping off that list this year. Which is good, because there’s a storm of games coming for me still in 2016.

Games Still Coming in 2016

Affiliate link 20% off with Amazon Prime!

The next game up is DOOM! Yes, my first love in computer games. Scared the ever living crap out of me when I was playing the shareware levels over and over. I look forward to seeing the new one, and hope the singleplayer campaign can live up to the nostalgia. I also look forward to using SnapMap to make my own map(s).

Total War: Warhammer comes at the end of May. I’ve contacted Creative Assembly about getting into their reviewer program, so maybe I can get an advanced copy and put out a review. I’ve listened to some of Overkill’s Lore Videos, and am most excited to play Bretonnia and the Empire, in that order. The ‘good guys’ of course. One of my stream viewers is helping to develop this game as well (Goremaster!), so getting to see his work is another exciting aspect for me to this game.

I heard about No Man’s Sky a while back. It’s an exploration game with a procedurally generated universe, meaning it never ends. Exploration is infinite. Imagine all the planets and animals you can see. My fondest memories from MMORPGs come from exploring something for the first time. Every planet is this experience over, and over. It has a survival element thrown in too, so boredom won’t be a factor. I am really curious to see what the average player lifespan is for this game.

Affiliate link 20% off with Amazon Prime!

World of Warcraft: Legion launches on or before September 21st, 2016. Hopefully no sooner. I am excited to play this knowing some of my stream viewers also play. Mostly I just can’t wait to get back on my Worgen. I have a couple of WoW tokens waiting for me, so this won’t be too expensive. Burning Crusade 2.0 here we come!

And that’s just the games with confirmed dates. Indie games have been popping up more on my radar recently, specifically Dreadnought which may pop up this year too.

What’s Still On Deck

The Humble Bundle has been good to me, and I have a bunch of games that I want to play but haven’t had the opportunity yet. Streaming has really ramped up how much I play, and for how long. It’s hard to stop playing something when people are having fun.

  • Aliens Franchise – Aliens Colonial Marines and Alien Isolation.
  • Heroes of the Storm – Everyone seems to love playing this game.
  • DOOM Franchise – I’d still like to replay all the old DOOM games. Preferably before the new one launches.
  • Star Citizen – I’d love to get back into this for the flying part.
  • Diablo 3 – There’s a new map i’d like to check out. Just once through.

and…

  • I want to make my own video game. Cryengine, Unity, or Unreal. More to come on this later.

Looking For More, PST

I am always looking for people to play with. I will be streaming 90% of everything, so feel free to come watch! You can also join if you’re willing to use voice chat. Actually talking to people – from around the world – is my favorite part about streaming. Playing with LionheartShintar, HaxoTheHunter and Ravanel has been awesome, and I hope to group up with even more people throughout the year. So no matter where you are, if you’re interested in any of these games, drop me a line in the comments. 2016 is going to be a big year in gaming for me. I’d love to have others along for the ride.

 

How To Know When Video Games Are “Worth It”

long term cost of video games
SO MANY GAMES! SO MUCH MONEY!

Video Game Costs Are Dynamic

There are just SO many video games out there, I think about everyone has a game they still want to try. That is certainly the case for me, and the biggest factor is money. New games can range from $20 Indie games, to $60 new AAA MMO titles.  It’s the up front cost that gives me the most pause, but it shouldn’t. Free To Play games like League of Legends have such HUGE followings because there is no up front cost. There is no barrier to entry. Of course you can buy stuff later, as I always say, free games are never really free.  I’ve already done one post where I broke down my gaming spending on a per year basis, but if I told you I’ve played a game for a year, that doesn’t really tell you much. It’s how long I played it for during that year that matters. I’m going to break it down so that you can determine if a game is worth it – or not.

Cost Per Hour Makes Games CHEAP

The defining factor here is going to be time. The best way to break down a game’s monetary value is by total time spent in the game. Steam does a great job of tracking your time in games. World of Warcraft and Star Wars: The Old Republic have a handy /played command to see your time spent on each character. Tracking time can be pretty easy. I got the times off of several games I have played in the past, broke them down by time and price. The results were pretty awesome.

Game Cost Hours $/Hour
The Division $48 36 $1.33
HotS $45.97 219 $0.21
WoW* $1,398 10205 $0.14
SWTOR $307.89 3,669 $0.08
LoL $70 756 $0.09
TW: Arena $31 722 $0.04

The Division is less than 1 month old, so of course it’s going to be a little off. I just wanted to show a little contrast. HotS I have access to for about 16 months, and looks to be about twice the ‘average’.  WoW, SWTOR, and LoL are all in the range of what i’d consider average, or “worth it”. Of course they have been out for YEARS now. Total War: Arena is just an exceptional game at about 6 months. I am biased though. Love me some Arena.

Determining When To Buy Games

Of course the formula for yourself might vary.  Still, with the above method you have a powerful tool to evaluate whether to buy a new game or not. You can guess how long said new game might hold your attention for, and then start playing with numbers to see whether or not you might get your money’s worth. I’ve done a few examples below to show you what I mean, and to give you a quick reference. Just bookmark this page and come back to it.

Cost Hours $/Hour
Steam Sale $5 50 $0.10
Indie Title $20 200 $0.10
AAA Title $60 600 $0.10

Games Aren’t Just Races, They’re Relays

You have to look at actual time spent over the long haul. Hardcore gamers may reach 100 hours in a month, but casual gamers may take 4 months. It’s still 100 hours no matter how you look at it, the hardcore gamer just got there first. Look at my World of Warcraft spending – $1,398 – that seems insane! But then look at my time spent. Over 10,000 hours in the World of Warcraft, and that’s not even counting all my characters.*I spent more time in WoW, but had to use old screenshots to kinda estimate played time in my last few months playing WoW. So make sure you’re using the long-term view when evaluating game costs. $60 might seem like a lot, but if you can stretch it out far enough, it might actually be less than the $20 you spent on that last movie you bought. It’ll still require a little guessing on your part, but next time you want that new game, see if you’re sinking enough time into other games like it.  You’ll be able to make a more informed decision, and spend your money more wisely.

What’s the best money you ever spent on a video game?

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals in Gaming 2015

As with previous years, i’ll be keeping up with various games and sales for Black Friday through Cyber Monday. If you find a particularly sweet deal somewhere, leave it in the comments.

Blizzard Black Friday & Cyber Monday

World of Warships Black Friday & Cyber Monday

  • Warspite available (Rare UK battleship)
  • Nikolai available (Russian Battleship)

Humble bundle Black Friday

Star Wars The Old Republic black Friday

  • Cartel Packs 25% off

My Personal Spending On Games

What to do at level 80 in Guild Wars 2
Random picture. Brings back memories.

How Expensive Is Online Gaming?

So I found the Google Notes app randomly one day on my phone a few months ago.  I fell madly, deeply in love.  I could make a spreadsheet about all the spreadsheets I have made, and/or want to make.  Making spreadsheets makes me happy now, so I made one that’s actually kinda useful.  I decided to track how much I have spent on gaming this year.  I dug through all my old emails and bank statements to be as accurate as I could.

Buyin’ Gamez

If you check out the chart below, you can see all the money I have spent on games so far in 2015.  I actually have way more games than it looks like.  If you’ll notice the humble bundles, they each came with 6-10 games each.  I probably won’t play them, so they really aren’t worth mentioning.

1/1/2015 WoW $14.99 Warcraft sub
2/1/2015 WoW $14.99 Warcraft sub
3/1/2015 WoW $14.99 Warcraft sub
3/25/2015 HotS $13.11 Sylvanas & Ranger General skin
4/1/2015 WoW $14.99 Warcraft sub
6/26/2015 HotS $4.99 Prince Arthas skin
7/20/2015 Warmachine Tactics $13.00 Game (In Humble bundle)
8/3/2015 HotS $2.94 Diablo Godzilla skin
9/1/2015 WoWs $6.69 1250 Gold
9/1/2015 Total War Bundle $15.00 Game bundle
9/1/2015 Game creator software $12.00 Game bundle
9/17/2015 HotS $14.94 Uther skin & Mount
9/24/2015 Wildstar $15.98 3x box copies for f2p points
10/25/2015 Humble Bundle $12.00 Game bundle
10/25/2015 Doom 1,2,3 $6.49 Humble Store
11/1/2015 Aliens: Colonial Marines $3.74 Humble Store
11/25/2015 Monthly Humble* $12.00 Game bundle
12/1/2015 Humble Bundle Total War Encore $7.00 Game bundle

I feel like game developers may know more about what they’re doing than I thought before.  More specifically their marketing and research departments.  It comes to $16.65 per month, which is pretty close to the $15 per month subscription most games want you to buy.  I play more than one game though, so dropping $15 on just one game wouldn’t work for my wallet.  Unless I played one game at a time.  I did that for 7 years with WoW, and today it seems unappealing.

High Price Of Hardware

I upgraded my computer this year.  It was about 3 years old, so I ended up with nearly a full upgrade.  I didn’t buy anything fancy, but I thought it was worth sharing for completion’s sake.  The monitor was even older, and had actually stopped working.

Assuming this lasts me another 3 years, that’s $28.75 per month.  I’m hoping it will actually last me more like 4-5 years.  That’s a hefty chunk of change each month when you break it down like that.

The Rest Of 2015

Of course the new Knights of the Fallen Empire expansion for SWTOR comes out this month.  That’s $15, although with everything going on, I may hold off on that until 2016.  Speaking of Star Wars, the new Star Wars: Battlefront is coming out in November.  I haven’t played an FPS since Battlefield 3.  I’m still terrible at them, but it is Star Wars, so I am considering it heavily.  That’s another $60.  Of course November also brings the Black Friday sales.  There’s no telling what kind of deals may entice me to try something new, or in-game deals for the games I already play.  My guess is I will end up around $20 per month when it’s all said and done on software.  Everything looks good on the hardware end thankfully, so I have no plans to add anything in the near future.  It was a surprise to learn I spend about $50 per month on online gaming.  Maybe I should go back to playing one game after all.

How much do you spend on games?