End of the World Keeps It Real

December 2012 Keeps Bringing Good News


If you’re reading this, the end of the world hasn’t happened.  Yet.  If it doesn’t happen at all, then there’s even MORE good news.  As if the first batch of news in December 2012 wasn’t good enough, it just keeps coming.

Warhorn Build Inc

The poll was tied, so i’ll be going with the one I wanted to do most.  I’ll be experimenting with a warrior warhorn build now.  I’m not holding myself to any other specifics yet, but have a few ideas of what I want.  I want to use an axe with the warhorn because the guild axe skins just looks awesome, as does the Lionguard axe skin.  I want to use a greatsword too because the Ghastly Greatsword just looks…awesome.  This would mean no ranged weapon, but like I mentioned, i’m not committing to anything beyond a warhorn focused build.
I was really never interested in a warhorn build until recently.  I’ve heard it has lots of mobility and condition cleansing.  I am looking forward to spending countless hours in the mists again, toying around with builds and weapons.  Ahh, the joys of theorycrafting.  I’m going to also try and put together a series of videos on my own build creation strategy.

Moving Forward With Mobile

As you may have noticed, I have thrown up a Mobile section.  It’s bare bones on the multiplayer games for iPhone and Android I have come across so far that are worth recommending.  I’m going to slowly build on it on Mondays.  Mobile Mondays should be a common or more common occurrence.

Red 5 Studios Gives Big Discount On Firefall

I caught this one on Twitter.  Firefall Founders editions are on sale for 25% off!  Only until January 1st though.  I was actually just planning on going the Free to Play route with this, but this big of a discount really has my interest.  The 5% XP and $20 worth of Red beans (cash shop currency) are really looking to be a good value for $15.  Willing to bet a lot of other people are going to agree.

 Facebook And Twitter LFM

I just want to remind everyone that I do still have a Facebook and Twitter page.  They haven’t gone anywhere.  If you find anything on my page useful, please consider giving it a like.  If not, please consider telling me why in comments or an email.  As long as you can keep it constructive, I genuinely want to hear any and all feedback.  Suggestions and requests are good too.  No guarantees that I will make it happen, but I will certainly run it through the old Thinking Cap.

For The Comments Below

Also, new poll!  Vote!  Let’s break the all time record of…4 votes.  How do you think the world is going to end?  More like End of Nations or Firefall?

 

Dinostorm Game Review

Dinosaurs.  Cowboys.  Lasers.

I was on a bit of a dinosaur-kick and was searching around when I came across this game.  Dinostorm is a free to play MMO from Splitscreen Studios where you ride dinosaurs, as a cowboy, while shooting laser guns.  It is a browser game, and I don’t play browser games.  I feel like they’re not ‘real’ games for some reason.  But, I was on a dinosaur kick, so I tried it out.Dinostorm Website

The Good, Bad, and Ugly

Dinostorm does have some nice music.  I really liked it a lot.  It also has an interesting game mechanic called Fame.  You get Fame by having fancy clothes.  Each piece generates a certain amount.  The game mentions elections being held at town hall for Sheriff or other political offices.  (You can read the full spiel in the video)  Players with enough Fame can get other rewards too, like the ability to place spawn points.  I found these to be the most innovative parts of Dinostorm.  It seems to be a very social game aimed at the teenager demographic.
The graphics were not impressive.  The characters themselves looked like something out of the original Wolfenstein.  It kinda looks like a storm of dinosaurs hit you in the face.  (Get it?  Dinostorm?  Right.  Moving on…)  The dinosaurs themselves looked good though, which was odd to me.  The biggest drawback to the game I found was the XP gain.  I got level two in a hurry, as expected.  Level three on the other hand… that… took… forever…    I got to level three in just shy of an hour.  It’s a free to play game, so XP boosts may be part of the cash shop.  Or maybe I have unrealistic expectations for an MMO.
Dinostorm has a lot of the same standard features as good MMOs.  They don’t make it stand out, but they do help it keep pace.
  • Combat while riding dino-back (Horseback) was very fun.
  • Quests could be picked up and turned in from everywhere.
  • Dinosaur tracks lead you to your quest objectives like a beacon.

Try Dinostorm For Yourself

Really only the slow experience gain should keep you away from Dinostorm.  I could have been imagining things, but it just seemed a lot slower than my previous early leveling experiences in MMOs.  There’s virtually no download if you have Java already installed, so there’s no reason not to try it if you’re into dinosaurs or just want something to do.  I’m glad I did try it, personally.  It increased my appreciation for browser games.  I’ll be much less hesitant to try them in the future.  I put together a review video.  I’m trying to improve my videos, so please give me some feedback!I leave you with one final thought on Dinostorm, but you’ll have to watch the video to understand.Dinosaur BBQ

What do you think of Dinostorm?  How about browser games in general?  Most importantly, did you like the Dinosaur BBQ or not?

Firefall: Beta Weekend 11/30 to 12/3

What Is Firefall?

Firefall is an MMOFPS.  I found it to be an MMO with some FPS mechanics.  You can play in traditional RPG over-the-shoulder view, or First Person (FPS) view.  You have your different classes as in an FPS (Engineer, Biotech, Assault, etc), but the gameplay controls still feel overall like an MMO.  This was actually one of the most enjoyable games I have played in a while.  I keep wanting to go back more and more to try new things, moreso than some other beta games I have tested.
I tested the Recon and Biotech classes so far.  I saw a distinct lack of Biotechs, which are the healing and reviving class.  I needed a lot of reviving.  Engineers can heal a little as well.  The beginning NPCs are very challenging, which I think is a good thing.  It may be a tuning issue, or it may be Firefall is trying to turn a corner and take a little bit of the mindlessness out of MMOs.

What’s Good In Firefall

There were a few things I saw in Firefall that were new, or different enough.  Jet packs were the very first noticeable difference.  You actually start the game with a jet pack!  This is normally something you’d have to earn in other games.  I thought starting with it was an interesting, and good, idea.  It puts a third axis to content with while killing enemies – up!
Random health and ammo was another mechanic I liked.  Moreso this comes from an MMO player perspective.  In FPS games you have to manage your ammunition somewhat, whereas in MMOs there’s no need to.  In Firefall, there are lots of places to find these powerups.  Out in the wild, you can heal up at places called ‘Relaxation Stations’.  In cities, there are little platforms where you can pick up a heal and top off your ammo.  It’s all free, no payment required.  I guess this encourages you to really unload on enemies, which in turn is of course a lot of fun.
You can also set your character’s accent in Firefall.  You can talk like a hard charging sergeant, or a good old country boy.  There are several to choose from, and it was nice not hearing my own voice every time another male player said something.  Even though this is kind of a quality of life feature, I think things like this push MMOs into the ‘Next Gen’ category.
These were just a few things I noticed right off the bat.

What’s Not So Good In Firefall

I only really saw one thing I didn’t like in the little bit I have played so far.  The healing was very slow.  VERY slow.  For such a fast paced game, it’s kind of surprising.  There are a lot of buffs out in the world, but it seemed to me like there weren’t quite enough.  I was healing about 1 point per second, but with a health pool of over 1000, you can imagine how not-useful that is.
Of course quests were buggy, there was lag, but this is to be expected on a stress test weekend.  Other MMOs have fared far worse.  It’s also still in beta, so the health regen can be managed still.  I watched one player on a stream, and he was healing for 11 per second.  That makes me worry it’s cash shop bait.

Is Firefall Worth Playing?

Yes.  Despite the drawbacks I listed, i’m still content to wait and see the finished product.  A lot of things can change in a beta build.  It’s also going to be F2P so if you like MMOs or FPS, why not?  If you are an MMO player, don’t let the FPS tag steer you away.  It’s every bit an MMO.  The only noticeable difference is your character’s over-the-shoulder perspective.  If you can deal with that, you can deal with Firefall.  Watch the video I posted and you can see what I mean.

Here’s a tip if you want a Firefall Beta Key.  Sign up on their website, and go to the Off-Topic Forums.  People give away beta keys all the time.  I got one from this thread in fact.  Even the player I mentioned earlier that was streaming was giving away 10 on his channel.  When I joined he had 9 left, and gave away 2 while I was watching to other people.  They’re easy to get, so don’t worry.  Red 5 has also endorsed this particular method of giving keys away, so it’s perfectly legitimate as well.

If you need a beta key, I have a few keys to give out too.  Like my Facebook page and say something about Firefall.  I’ll send you a key via private message.  Just make sure to tell me your thoughts on Firefall!  It can be as simple as you like it, love it, or just can’t wait to play it.If you don’t need or want a key, still feel free to leave your thoughts about Firefall in the comments below or like the Facebook page!

GW2: Sparkfly Fen Vistas

Sparkfly Fen Vistas (Levels 55-65)

Vistas in the Sparkfly Fen fen area in Guild Wars 2 were mostly easy to follow and straightforward.  So far, anyway.  I haven’t finished the area.  I’m going for completion over speed leveling for the first time in my history of playing MMOs.  Still, I found two that were possibly a little trickier than normal.  The Splintered Coast one was especially tricky and lengthy.  So as usual, I created a couple of Guild Wars 2 “How-To” videos for the occasion.

Splintered Coast

This is one of those vistas that require some skillful jumping.  I belly flopped to the ground during my first try.  The camera angles in Guild Wars 2 can make vista hunting a little difficult.  When it puts a giant tree branch between you and your field of view, you’re going to take a nasty spill.  Or five.  Oh, and be careful jumping down.  I may or may not have died at the end of this video…

Verarium Delves

This Guild Wars 2 vista was the hardest for me to find since the Stronghold of Ebonhawke Vista.  You have to start off far to the north between the Uzanarin Depths and Ocean’s Gullet regions.  Sorry if the video is a little long, but there isn’t really a quick way to show you how to reach this vista.  There is a spot you come across with a little waterfall that looks really, really nice.  At least you can enjoy the Guild Wars 2 scenery along the way.  I still can’t say enough how nice this game looks on low-end machines.  You will also be fighting on your trek to this vista.  Nothing difficult, but it’s worth mentioning.

Update 09/12/2012: I updated this video to be a lot shorter.  There is also a follow up video for finding a chest!  You can find it on my YouTube channel right now!

GW2: Tricky Bloodtide Coast Vistas

Bloodtide Coast (Levels 45-55)

Most vistas in Guild Wars 2 are obvious.  I did run across a few in the Bloodtide Coast (45-55) region this week that were not obvious.  Whisperwill Bogs, Mournful Depths, and Mole’s Head all had vistas that needed a good eye to spot the starting point.  I thought these three could benefit from a How-To video showing the starting point.  Once you’re up and jumping, the route is pretty obvious for any vista I have found so far in Guild Wars 2.  If you’ve subscribed to the channel, you saw these were posted before today!

Whisperwill Bogs Vista

This vista in Whisperwill Bogs took some effort just to find the starting place.  We had to do a little trial and error searching around. This particular vista attempt had a slight complication for me personally…

Mournful Depths Vista

Another hiding in plain sight starting point is the one for the vista in Mournful Depths.  Even though as you can see in the video it is pretty straight forward, literally, I thought it blended in enough to warrant a good new-fashioned video explanation.

Mole’s Head Vista

This was one of the harder vistas to get because of where it was.  This underground cavern with all the Risen inside was a pain.  They kept spawning and attacking.  You can even hear in the video where i’m getting attacked while looking at the map.  (There’s a quick edit so you have to be paying attention.)  My best advice is get  to jumping as soon as you can.  We died a few times in here.