Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Taking my foot off the SWTOR pedal a bit

I've not quit SWTOR and don't currently plan to, but I realised recently that I have been playing a lot less. Perhaps this happened a little subconsciously, as there's been no real thought to it, it just kinda slowed down and I got distracted. My main is fully purpled out, I can compete well in PvP, I've cleared all the hardmode instances I've been in, cleared the Eternity Vault raid (though I'm not much of a dungeon farmer anyway) and Ilum remains a total load of bollocks. Also as an Empire player the warzone we normally end up with is Huttball, which is getting very old, particularly when wins so often don't register on the daily mission. Really I just want Ilum to improve, as that's theoretically providing the type of gameplay I really like (as per DAoC, WAR, etc) but I have serious doubts there.

I have started a proper alt, a Bounty Hunter Mercenary, but I'm not diving full on in to it just yet and not getting that MUST PLAY NOW itch. That said, I have also got a load of major stuff going on in real life which is souring my mood somewhat and as such everything seems a bit shit. Perhaps the fact that I'm mainly spending my gaming time in games where I can be building things, rather than see them destroyed, is fairly telling.

Which leads me to mention the Kill Frenzy Minecraft server has been reset with all the lastest patches and I've found myself heinously addicted... again. When not exploring and fighting stuff, I'm building a multiple tower, sky garden, thing... As everyone knows it is a magnificent game and an incredible time sink, pus I'm a real sucker for exploring and marveling at the cubist beauty of its randomly generated terrain.

Anyway, as I alluded to above, I'm not done with SWTOR yet, but I have run out of pressing targets and am now at the point where normally openworld PvP / campaign RvR would take over. Which unfortunately are SWTOR's weakest points.

Friday, 27 January 2012

STO - 2nd anniversary rewards are a bit good

So normally games give you a load of old tosh for their anniversary rewards. A cloak, title or something else decidedly zzzzzzzzz. Sure there's been some decent veteran rewards in games, as in a reward for being subscribed for a certain amount of time; mounts black dye tubs (ahh fond memories), etc. Yet anniversary rewards received just for being logged in at that particular time are usually, well, a bit rubbish.

STO however is slapping that idea down and delivering some properly useful and rather substantial rewards. Everyone that plays during the 4 days from 2nd February can get a quest line that rewards them with proper all new design end game starships! You have to be at least level 5 to get the mission (or level 21 for Klingon, but Klingon chars start at higher level anyway) and then you'll have the ship as an inventory reward ready to activate when you get to Vice Admiral.

Odyssey Class Starship
Bortas Class Starship
Some details of the event can be found here. Klingon ship info here and Federation here.

If you've not played STO before it's probably worth installing, getting to level 5, getting the ship when the event is on and then if you ever decide to play it properly you'll have that waiting. Since it's free and all.

PS: After this event I would expect that these ships will only be available through the cash shop...

Thursday, 26 January 2012


Probably just a Superbowl advert with that date, but oh if only it was the real deal..

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

MWO - Another mech revealed and it makes for a good comparison

And it's the Centurion; a 50 ton medium mech that typical has a rather mixed array of weapons. Medium Lasers, LRMs (Long range missiles) and a big old AC10 (Auto-cannon projectile weapon). Though with the Mechwarrior games typically immense customisation options and the many variants within the lore itself, the standard weapon load out probably won't mean a great deal. Whatever happens, this should be a reasonably quick and quite potent medium mech. This could be my new Uziel ;)

This particular mech is a really good example of how Piranha's concept artist is bring the old designs smack up to date. If you look at the original it's a very flimsy looking thing that when viewed with a modern eye... well it just doesn't seem even vaguely feasible.
Thanks to Sarna.net for the classic old image btw.

Whereas the new version is much more convincing. Fleshed out, chunkier and just a whole lot meaner looking, this new Centurion looks like a proper war machine that might actually be able to take some punishment. 

That's the thing with bringing battletech designs up to date, the old stuff just looks so flimsy. This of course is not helped by the concept of walking tanks in itself being ridiculous, certainly for bipedal ones. Weapon impacts, kinetic energy and gravity don't lend themselves well to the idea, but then it is make believe. ;) As mechwarrior has a gritter, more "real world" feel than most mecha-style-gundam-cock, I imagine it's quite a challenge for an artist to make it look cool but not leave the common-sense side of your brain screaming DUMBTARDED!

So far I think Piranha are doing a cracking job. Everything is sounding promising for MWO, early days of course, but I do like what I am seeing.

Official Centurion announcement

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

You underestimate the power of the Bark Side

Not seen this on telly over here yet.. Clearly Volkswagen love their Star Wars right now.

Friday, 20 January 2012

STO is now F2P

OK so I am a few days late announcing this, but I forgot, sorry :P

I would say that of all the free to play games out there these days, it's Star Trek Online that gives you the most content for free. Seriously folks this game pretty much throws everything at you for free and is very reasonable in what it expects people to pay for. It's also, in my mind anyway, the most improved since launch MMORPG probably ever.

As a free download this is one of the easiest recommendations I've been able to make.

Official site: http://www.startrekonline.com/

Thursday, 19 January 2012

SWTOR 1.1 patch is not the PvP disaster people think it is

I say that for two main reasons:

1) It made players start fighting and doing actual PvP.
Sure it was a horrible clusterfuck of spawn camping badly tested crap. Yes it was horrible for those being spawn camped with no way out except to quit the game. And yes it demonstrated that the game simply can not handle lots of players in one area, but despite this we did actually see players fighting each other. Players doing PvP in the main PvP zone instead of standing around mostly AFK not even playing the game (not quite the point of a "game" eh?), whilst a few folks take turns to click the objective stuff and auto-complete the AFKers daily missions for them. So in that respect it is progress and is a step in the right direction. Albeit a step that led to Bioware immediately tripping over and faceplanting in a bloody mess hard on Ilum's frozen rocks.

But the main thing people will remember from yesterday was the lag. Oh... My... God... The... Lag.... In fact it lagged just as badly as the early days of WAR fortress battles, but was so worse because the number of players present in those bases on Illum was clearly far lower than we used to see in WAR. Plus SWTOR doesn't even have the excuse of collision detection complications. What Bioware need to immediately realise from this1.1 lesson is that Ilum and SWTOR will NEVER work as large scale zerg Realm vs Realm combat, that is unless they do something absolutely revolutionary with their game engine and servers. Really they need to ensure that future changes work towards making it about lots of small scale fighting all over the zone.

Not large scale combat in a small area, but instead it should be large scale combat over a large area..

Bioware's former Mythic employees should understand this, if they don't then I would question if they actually worked on WAR or just sat around smoking fags, drinking tequila and fiddling with their funky bits.

2) The major development screw ups for PvP were already made long ago. 
Yup. SWTOR was already up to it's neck in PvP problems, that is if you want anything other than arena e-sport. Firstly you can not make a balanced faction based PvP campaign with just 2 sides. It has never worked in anything and the only successful PvP campaigns are in games with 3 or more factions, be those game defined factions (DAoC) or player created ones (EVE, UO). Two faction PvP populations will decline over time as they turn into farcical alt-character switching nonsense and people get either sick of being zerged or bored of the lack of an actual campaign of any meaning.

Sure with instanced PvP you can get away with it to a point, but as the insane amount of Hutballs demonstrate, you'll either have to fight your own faction or wait a long time for those instances to pop.

Then we have PvP specific stats, in SWTOR's case "Expertise". It's always a stupid idea as it heightens vertical progression, lessens the impact of player skill and means new players (AKA new customers) join in PvP and get utterly steamrolled by those of us in fancy armour. Armour that, thanks to the expertise stat, boosts our damage against players AND reduces the damage they do, essentially doubling the percentage increase in it's effectiveness. PvP needs progression to have incentives that will appeal to a wide player base, but that doesn't mean progression has to be at the detriment of game balance and neither should it serve to alienate new players. Subtle stat gain, new abilities, different appearances and a myriad of other rewards can easily be implemented and will provide more than enough incentive. It does however require developers to think for themselves and not just dump a PvP stat on "cos that's what you do for PvP init".

Finally and as already discussed, the game just can't handle lots of players in one small area. Ilum must be redirected to spread the players across the zone and encourage them to fight all over the place. Otherwise it will always be a complete failure of a RvR zone. Which would be a tragic shame because it's a beautifully designed zone in many ways and has massive potential. But as any WAR veteran knows, waiting on potential is a right bitch.

So in summary, it was of course a bad patch and will be remembered for it's many problems, but it did at least kick off some actual PvP and perhaps more importantly highlighted some major issues that MUST be addressed if Ilum is to ever have a chance of succeeding. We just have to see if Bioware realise this.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

SWTOR - Level 50 done and done

Yup, that's my Sith Assassin at max level in SWTOR. I've immediately started doing a lot more PvP, which basically means Warzones (scenarios/battlegrounds) because bugger all PvP is happening in Ilum yet. Having said that, last night I was kinda half afk and as such was not PvPing, but the guys were telling me it had actually started to kick off a bit in Ilum. So there's some hope at least on that front. Plus once the patch arrives (it's been delayed again) it will change the Ilum daily/weekly quests to require player kills, which should in theory spark things up dramatically. As long as there's not too much of a faction balance problem...

The first thing I did at 50 was go and check out Ilum, which as mentioned before is just point swapping crap at the moment, but that's a real shame because the design of the zone itself is brilliant. It's got lots of routes for travel, loads of ambush points and a mixture of wide open and more funneled areas. The basic concept of the campaign system is good, it's basically like a RvR lake from WAR with keep at each end and the objectives between, but it has been completely let down by the lack of any incentive to kill the enemy players. Once (or if...) Bioware get that sorted out, then in theory it should make for an excellent RvR/PvP zone and I can see it being exactly the sort of thing that would keep me subbed.

In fact if Bioware were to sort out the incentives so that all the materialistic purple pixel obsessed lame arsed humans playing the game actually started fighting and combined this with adding further RvR themed planets,  then SWTOR could actually be both a WoW and WAR replacement. That is a very big IF though... We shall see.

In other news, I've rolled my first proper alt. Gone for an Agent with the Sniper advanced class. Interesting so far, but more on that another time.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Dark Millenium cancelled? Nope says THQ

First Kotaku and other sites reported Dark Millenium Online was no more, after Kevin Dent, a games industry type chap, tweeted  that THQ had canceled an MMO it was developing under license from Games Workshop. However this was quickly followed up by THQ giving out this statement:

"THQ has not cancelled its 2014 line-up, and has not made any decisions regarding the planned MMO. As part of the ongoing review of our business, we have made decisions to ensure that the company is strategically addressing the most attractive markets. As we have previously announced, we have dramatically reduced our commitment to the kids’ boxed games sector which leads to a significantly more focused release schedule moving forward. Our slate for calendar 2012 and beyond is focused on high-quality core games and continues to build our digital platform and business. We are excited for our pipeline of original and high-quality content along with our relationships with some of the best talent in the industry.

Additionally, we are thrilled with the great performance of Saints Row: The Third, which on a like for like period in North America has tripled in sell-through from Saints Row 2. In addition, WWE ’12’s worldwide sell-through sales are up almost 40% year-over-year for the same sales period with fewer platforms. According to NPD, for the month of December and the 2011 year, THQ was the #5 publisher overall, #4 third party, with reported sell through growing over 18% in a market that was down almost 6%. And coming up next, we have two great titles for the first half of the year including UFC Undisputed 3 and Darksiders 2."

Fairly comprehensive, though you could argue that "has not made any decisions regarding the planned MMO" (emphasis mine) is not quite as concrete a statement as folks may want to see. Probably just nitpicking though.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Level 50 approaches

I'm level 47 with my Sith Assassin, almost 48 and I would imagine I'll get to 50 some time next week. This will quickly be crunch time for SWTOR and I. Will there be enough to keep me entertained?

I'm really not into farming instances and dungeons anymore, I just lose interest. Once I've completed a dungeon, I seriously struggle to motivate myself to do it again. It's not that PvP is purely where I prefer to spend my time after the leveling process is done (though it is top of the list), it's more a case of I like to do new things or events that are more dynamic and subject to change. This is why I've always loved things like DAoC's RvR campaign and why I'm so looking forward to Planetside 2. There are things I will do at 50 aside from PvP, like collecting the Datacrons and I'm not ruling out doing instances, but as the main thing I've enjoyed while leveling was the storylines, what takes over once they're finished? Dailies and all that zzzzzzzzzz?

So exactly as I've been saying for the last year or so, I think SWTOR will keep me there for a month or two at least, but beyond that is still reliant on the PvP. However as you probably know, I wasn't expecting much from the PvP and as my last post suggests, that was probably wise. Yet it could improve. I'm finding that warzones are lagging considerably less and it's not just sodding Huttball all the time now, so it seems there are  more Republic players around now. Apparently Hoth was packed with them yesterday.

Of course as I've said many times before, I find instanced PvP gets stale rather quickly too, so for me it's all about Ilum and openworld PvP. Which means the big question for me and my long term interest in SWTOR is:

Will the Ilum RvR zone mature and stop being a load of point trading shite? 

If it doesn't and there isn't something else within SWTOR that starts to captivate me at level 50, then at some point I may well return to DAoC or WAR for a bit. Most likely DAoC.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Ilum? Lolum more like.

Last night whilst doing a bit of levelling, I was on ventrilo listening in on a group of Kill Frenzy guildies that were playing in SWTOR’s Ilum RvR zone. The guys were laughing on vent because they were getting people from our own faction complaining that KF were attacking enemy players. Yes, you read that correctly. Complaining because people on their faction were attacking enemy players in a RvR zone, on a PvP server. This of course will only encourage us further and I can’t wait to get to 50 and join in.

The KF lads weren’t interrupting a player organised PvP event, duelling, funeral procession or any such thing, oh no sir, their heinous crime was so much worse. By fighting players in a supposedly PvP focussed zone, the terrible KF criminals had stopped our server’s awesome pro PvPers from emoting at each other whilst taking turns to capture objectives! Yes, you also read that correctly. Instead of fighting each other, these hardcore pvpers stand together at the objectives and take turns to capture them. That way they can still progress their character simply by tapping their keyboard occasionally to stop auto log outs and now and again activate the objective thing. Of course this means they can concentrate on writing hate posts about the cancellation of Firefly (or whatever is the fashion these days) and knocking one out (probably into a sock) over facebook photos of their mate’s girlfriend on her holiday to Butlins.

Now perhaps it’s just me, but if I’m paying a sub fee for a game it’s because I actually want to play the game. Which if on a PvP zone on a PvP server would normally involve some PvP. A shocking suggestion I know. Of course if people are paying their sub fee then they can do whatever they like in game (within the rules) but this seems to be the most horrible retarded waste of their time and for them to actually complain when people do try to play the game is stupidity of epic proportions. Sure, in WAR there would be times when people would let the enemy lock a zone pairing while we concentrated on another and perhaps at times this bordered on point trading, but I’ve never seen enemy players actually standing next to each other taking turns. Of course with 2 faction PvP there will always be problems like this, everyone with a brain knows it is incredibly stupid to make 2 faction games and expect PvP of any quality, but by Odin’s scruttock this shit is a whole other level of apathy and tragic comedy.

I will now make a huge assumption and blame it on ex-WoW players, since they wouldn’t know any better and are generally cretins. WoW was the first MMO after all :P

Saturday, 7 January 2012

The 5 most Bootaefull games of 2011

'Tis the season to post your favourite games of the last year and not wanting to be left out, here's my belated list. I'm not going to try and be arty, clever or pick some obscure nonsense for geek cool points, I'm just going to pick the games that I genuinely enjoyed the most from 2011 releases. Not that I'm sneering at the indie releases or some of the big production masterpieces that are blatantly missing, there's been many high quality games for sure, it's just that if I'm honest none of them had anything like the impact that these did for me and my "hours played" in Steam says it all. As such this is probably not going to be that shocking a list, other than an almost complete absence of online games, but if nothing interesting launches what can you do?

So in no particular order:

I like Nordic themed stuff, RPGs in general, non-linear games, huge arse dragons and the previous Elder Scrolls games. How could I not like Skyrim? Easy, I bloody love Skyrim. Ehem, that is as much as it's possible to get emotionally attached and a little aroused by fantasy pixels anyway. Is it perfect? Of course not, no game ever has been or ever will be, but for me it's pretty damn close and is easily the most immersive and utterly beautiful game world ever created. I spent my first 30 hours or so with Skyrim just walking around enjoying the scenery, dealing with whatever I encountered and actually having an adventure. "Having an adventure." That's the key phrase with Skyrim and one I don't think any other game comes close to.

I really hope the multi-player co-op play mod works out well for this, because if so there's a bunch of us that will probably not been seen elsewhere for a good long time :)

Football Manager 2012
Like any self respecting Englishman, I am heinously obsessed with Football (or sawwkerrrrr for my friends in the colonies). It should be no suprise then that since probably the SNES days I've bought each of the annual updates for the holy trinity of football games (Pro Evo, FIFA and the FM series), but in recent years I find myself playing console games a lot less and as a result I've missed out on the last couple of FIFAs and Pro Evos. The FM series however (which is PC only) I just can't quit and this year was no exception. Somehow every damn year Sports Interactive manage to make the game just that bit better and 2011's FM2012 is no exception (the year in the title is because of the season being 2011/12 btw). The match engine is a joy to watch and really does allow you to see the impact of your tactics and adjust as required. The player database remains the most detailed and accurately researched in the industry. And then somehow the UI and options you have as a manager are staggering in both their detail and accessibility, which is quite a feat.

If you're not interested in Football then of course the game is baffling, but if you are interested, and I mean really interested, then it's just bloody glorious.

Star Wars: The Old Republic
I wasn't sure if I was going to include this, as it is early days really, but it did release in 2011, is a very good game that I am enjoying a great deal and I know I'll be playing it for at least a couple more months. I won't say much more about it in this post as plenty has been said already.

Is Spacemarine really one of the top 5 games of the year? No. But it's still makes it to my top 5 because it's the best Warhammer shooter ever made (not a hard feat I know...) and I had a blast playing it. Don't get me wrong, it is definitely a very good game even without taking into account my Warhammer bias, but I do recognise that it's that bias nudging Spacemarine into this list. The fast paced and DAKKA DAKKA packed campaign has a dense and near perfect 40k atmosphere. With the in-game melee and ranged combat, Relic have absolutely nailed the uber killing machine that a Spacemarine is supposed to be, the Chainsword is a thing of the most horrible beauty to employ... Plus they also provided a thoroughly enjoyable multiplayer mode.

So whilst Spacemarine's only "groundbreaking" claim can be that it's the first very good Warhammer game that isn't an RTS, that is actually a fairly big deal for some of us. And when you combine it with the fact that Spacemarine is just bloody well fun to play... Yup, that sure works for me

Total War War: Shogun 2
I've got a bit of a soft spot for Japanese history and I'm also an Akira Kurosawa film nut. In addition I really like games that require some thought to play. As such it should be no shock that I was a huge fan of the original Shogun Total War and was therefore quite excited about it finally getting a proper sequel. To be honest I was never really in any doubt that it would be good, I've enjoyed every game in the Total War series and I had faith that Creative Assembly wouldn't screw up a re-imagining of what is pretty much their ultimate and most classic game.

They nailed it. It's an exceptional game in all departments. Absolutely beautiful throughout, from it's menu page backgrounds, to it's campaign map and right down to the real time battles themselves, the graphics and art are spot on. Then there's the audio (particularly the music) which adds wonderfully to the atmosphere and can be quite dramatic. Of course the main thing is the gameplay itself, which is solid in all areas and when played at higher difficulty levels it has suitably aggressive AI. That aggression fitting the historical setting rather well. I won't explain the gameplay as everyone should know how the Total War games work, but if you really don't... just go buy it, unless of course you don't do strategy games.

For me all of these games were great and it was an easy choice for my top 5. Sure there may well be games that for all sorts of reasons may have been more important or even to some people "better" games, but they are the ones I enjoyed the most and continue to play. Yet from those games there is one I can comfortably pick as my Game of the Year. OMG SHOCK HORROR!!! It's Skyrim.

Finally a couple of honourable mentions:
World of Tanks (EU launch was 2011 and I played the crap out of it)
No Time to Explain (so funny and just retro-modern-crab cool)

Thursday, 5 January 2012

New Planetside 2 video

And it's got some good solid in-game action to view :) Also it looks like the game has a proper day/night cycle where it actually gets dark. I like that, I like that a LOT. It just adds so much more atmosphere to any MMO, particularly when combined with weather effects. Of course that's only a tiny thing in the overall picture of if a game will be good or not, but it's a little thing that works for me :)

It's looking like we'll start getting a lot more PS2 news soon.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Promising PvP news for SWTOR in January

No sooner had I posted than Bioware go and post they're already taking some action to improve the PvP situation in SWTOR. Here's the link for their post or just read below.

"Fellow PvPers, thank you for taking on the challenge of player vs player combat in The Old Republic!

In the first week after launch there were over a million Warzone matches played, with nearly half of all players participating in Warzones. Bad news for Republic players, though - the Empire currently leads overall, having won 53% of all Alderaan Civil War and Voidstar matches (across all servers). Huttball has been played the most, accounting for 39% of all matches – and yes, we’ll be adding a new same faction vs. same faction enabled Warzone in the future.

We are all really excited at the tremendous volume of participation we’ve seen in PvP thus far. Your interest and demand dictates what we’ll be delivering in the near future. I wanted to give you some insight into where we are with PvP development and where we are going.

First and foremost here is what we are addressing as a top priority:

Level 50 Bracket Warzones: Level 50 players will have a bracket of their own, playing in separate Warzone matches to lower level players. This is something we have wanted to do for some time and now that there is an increasing number of level 50 players we will be implementing the feature in January.

Open World PvP on Ilum: The planet of Ilum currently allows for open world PvP even on a PvE server, but the mechanics and incentives of the planet are not in as intended yet. We’re working on longer term goals for the planet and for other PvP areas, but expect to see some interim adjustments in January - such as more respawn points to focus conflicts, restricting Companion Characters from the area, and revisions to rewards. Ilum will also become a major source of Valor. Valor buffs will increase and decrease based on the objectives your faction owns. These buffs increase the amount of Valor you receive per player kill. However they do not give anything in and of themselves, so players will still need to defeat other players for significant Valor rewards. Additionally, daily and weekly missions will require player kills to complete. Player kills for quests and Valor credit will have diminishing returns per player killed. So, the more players that are fighting other players, the better it is for everyone.

Combat Gameplay: You’ll see several optimizations come online in January, and we are going to continue to tune this as time goes on.

We also have other exciting features coming in the near future including Ranked Warzone Matches, PvP Stat Tracking, Open World PvP Loot Drops, more Warzone medals for different objectives, Guard Optimizations and Target Optimizations.

Additionally we’re looking at ways to enable team vs. team, more level brackets and the ability to choose which Warzone you want to play in.

This is not a complete list of everything we’re working on that’s PvP related, but we have to keep some surprises for later! Thanks again for all your feedback and please keep it coming. We read as much as we can then cross reference with metrics to take action on features and tuning the game to ensure an enjoyable and competitive PvP community.

Gabe Amatangelo
Principal Lead PvP, Operations & Flashpoints Designer"

This all sounds pretty good. It still won't change the game into some true large scale RvR thing, but it's a few steps towards making the PvP more fulfilling. And it's good to hear things are due this month, clearly Bioware are not dicking around with SWTOR, unlike the snails pace updates with their other MMO, WAR. :( Of course SWTOR doesn't have a skeleton crew left running things and as such I would bloody hope they got shit sorted quickly.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

My SWTOR PvP experience so far

OK so I'm up to level 42 with my Sith Assassin and playing on a PvP server. I haven't been to the RvR planet Ilum as of yet, because I plan on hitting that in a big way once I get to 50 and there's little reason to go there beforehand. PvP kills reward you with nothing (yes you read that right) and the rewards from the Ilum RvR zone are related to level 50 gear, so I just don't see much point in missing out on XP gain.

Open world PvP has been limited. There isn't a great deal of cross over between Republic and Empire leveling areas, particularly in earlier levels and whilst it does mix things up a fair bit more later on, it still doesn't really explode into a PvPfest because of the zone instancing and heavy use of phasing. This is not necessarily a bad thing for the game, as we must remember that SWTOR is one of the most PvE centric games ever made and as such it does allow the game to focus on its goals. However if for some strange reason you were expecting PvP servers to see PvP kicking off everywhere, well.... you would be both delusional and disappointed. Of course it would be a lot better if there were some XP gain linked to PvP kills, hopefully that will get introduced, but I doubt it.

Warzones (scenarios, battlegrounds, whatever... instanced PvP things) are as previously reported solid, fun and well made, but are at the same time deeply flawed and essentially broken because Bioware opted to have no level bandings. This means you've got stat bolstered level 10+ players going up against level 50s, which simply doesn't work because stat bolstering does not take into account the wider range of abilities, players min-maxing stats and the huge impact talent specs have for the higher level players. As a result almost every warzone is hugely unbalanced in favour of whichever team has the most level 40+ players and I can only presume makes for a shitty experience for lower level players. Now we can sneer at the lowbies and act like epeen pricks or we can recognise that for a game (and it's PvP) to be successful it needs to be accessible and enjoyable for players straight away, otherwise you just lose players for no gain to anyone else.

Also the only warzone that ever pops is Huttball, which is kind of like Bloodbowl, I presume this is because my server doesn't have enough Republic players on it because in Huttball you can face teams from your own faction. Though having played the Republic side in beta I can understand why people might not want to play with the mew mew mew crybaby jedi and their dull arsed storylines. :P

So all told and as expected, the PvP has not been particularly inspiring, though I do have some hope for the RvR zone Ilum. Apparently the planet has the problem of players from each faction effectively taking turns to complete the campaign stuff, which is no shock as we saw this with WAR and people choosing the path of least resistance, but my lot and I won't be playing along with that, so it should be amusing on numerous fronts :)

As of yet nothing with SWTOR or other games has changed my mind from WAR, DAoC and EVE being the only serious RvR games. Until Planetside 2 comes out...

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Half man half pixel. Music obsessive, likes a drink, occasional bastard.