Thursday 28 April 2011

Just one more block... with sushi

What little gaming time I've had lately has in the main been spent in Minecraft. I've been building a castle inspired by the awesome real life version in Osaka, Japan. The video below is my first ever vid and I rushed editing and stuff in like 5mins just now, so this seriously is a million miles away from a proper Kill Frenzy standard video :P

The castle itself is very much work in progress and I've also got a truck load of work to do to sculpt the island itself to the idea in my head... but this is it starting to take shape.

Tuesday 26 April 2011

Sony drop the ball and smother it in large amounts of turd

Seems the Playstation Network downtime is actually due to an epic fail of, well... EPIC proportions. I've cut out some of the waffle to leave the important bit...

"Valued PlayStation Network/Qriocity Customer,

We have discovered that between April 17 and April 19, 2011, certain PlayStation Network and Qriocity service user account information was compromised in connection with an illegal and unauthorized intrusion into our network.....

Although we are still investigating the details of this incident, we believe that an unauthorized person has obtained the following information that you provided: name, address (city, state/province, zip or postal code), country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity passwords and login, and handle/PSN online ID. It is also possible that your profile data, including purchase history and billing address (city, state, zip), and your PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers may have been obtained. If you have authorized a sub-account for your dependent, the same data with respect to your dependent may have been obtained. While there is no evidence that credit card data was taken at this time, we cannot rule out the possibility. If you have provided your credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity, to be on the safe side we are advising you that your credit card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may also have been obtained.

For your security, we encourage you to be especially aware of email, telephone, and postal mail scams that ask for personal or sensitive information. Sony will not contact you in any way, including by email, asking for your credit card number, social security, tax identification or similar number or other personally identifiable information. If you are asked for this information, you can be confident Sony is not the entity asking. When the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services are fully restored, we strongly recommend that you log on and change your password. Additionally, if you use your PlayStation Network or Qriocity user name or password for other unrelated services or accounts, we strongly recommend that you change them, as well.

To protect against possible identity theft or other financial loss, we encourage you to remain vigilant to review your account statements and to monitor your credit or similar types of reports. "

If you want to read their full statement you can follow this LINK. They also have an FAQ.

BTW I've been quiet lately due to holidays and proper real life stuff, will be posting again shortly. Things changing, still subbed to RIFT and WAR reactivated. More on that soon...

Thursday 14 April 2011

A mixture of gaming things and a loss of freedom

The last week or so have been a rather mixed bag on the gaming front for me. I’ve done a few dungeons in RIFT and started levelling a Mage, both of which have been good fun. I’ve also had a go on the free trial for Darkfall, which was uhm, interesting… and I’ve been playing Minecraft on the new Kill Frenzy private server, which has been epic.
So firstly, RIFT… For now I have completely given up with open-world PvP at level 50. There’s nothing organised and when we tried to prompt some, unfortunately no enemy guild would gather up to fight us, even when KF was standing outside the enemy capital city shouting challenges... There is of course the opportunity to roam around ganking people, but meh there’s no goal to it other than griefing, which aint my thing. I am dabbling a little with the warfronts (scenarios) and they’re fine, but no different to any other game really and as I’ve said many times before, I’m not that interested in instanced PvP.
Whenever I’ve had some reliable online time and a group of guildies available, I have been doing the expert mode dungeons. The dungeons in RIFT are great and with very few exceptions are well paced, balanced, visually impressive and atmospheric. I’ve not done much in the way of the raid or expert Rifts yet, but am looking forward to that. When logged in to RIFT but not doing dungeons, I’ve been levelling my mage. I played a Mage in beta quite a bit and was sorely tempted by one at launch, though for various reasons (mainly Riftstalker) I went with the Rogue. No regrets there, the Rogue is thoroughly entertaining, but the Mage is great fun too. I couldn’t list what’s changed, but it feels like its seen some good tweaking since beta. It’s early days for my Mage and I’m only using 2 different roles at the moment:
Chloro is pretty good healer with its healing primarily linked to the damage it does. Elementalist is a pet based DPS soul and Warlock is the usual heal draining nuker. This has combined to give me an un-killable pet, reasonable damage and has made levelling even more of a breeze than normal. I plan on playing Chloro in dungeons as much as possible.
I’ve mostly been using this for PvP in warfronts. Stormcaller is, as the name suggests, themed around lightning and the power of storms. It is a heavy AoE, nuking soul of awesome. I really like this one, lots and lots of ZAAAAAAAP! That said, I don’t think its quite as powerful as Pyromancer, but it has lightning graphics so it automatically wins. The third soul I’ve yet to decide upon, may just opt for the PvP soul.
So pretty much status quo for me in RIFT, the PvP remains very average, but I am enjoying the PvE enough to be more than happy with my subs fee for the foreseeable future (got a 3 month sub).
Now what about Darkfall then? Hmmmm. I must admit I have only played it very briefly and have barely scratched the surface, but a few things instantly stand out. Firstly, the graphics are not up to scratch for a modern MMO, in fact they’re fairly poor. Not so bad they’re deal breaking, but dated and a distraction. The game makes you spend a lot of time looking at your character’s back (which takes up too much of the screen), so it’s a real shame that they look so crap. Still graphics are not the be all and end all, as Minecraft demonstrates with the utmost finesse, more on that later.
The next big issue with Darkfall is the control system. It’s terrible. One of those systems where a right click turns the mouse cursor on for clicking round the UI, yeah one of those lol. I’ve not looked too hard, but I’ve not yet found how you mouselook without turning your character, obviously it must be possible because otherwise that would be completely retarded… On top of that, movement feels clunky, cheap and a bit rubbish.
Oh and then there was a lame player killing attempt on me within the first 10 minutes that was so dumb it was comedy. For your first hour on a new character you are immune to attacks from other players, which is cool and all, but it doesn’t stop a fully geared up dude following me around spamming attacks waiting for the time to run out. It also didn’t stop me just logging out a few minutes before the timer ran out to go make some dinner, which I did with a warm glow knowing I had wasted a retard’s time for 45 minutes as he had followed me around the entire time like a moronic angry puppy. Twat.
Yet despite these things giving an pretty poor first impression, the game has intrigued me a little bit. I did like the way the mobs behaved, their AI wasn’t exactly revolutionary, but they certainly take a bit more effort to kill than in other MMOs. They were also aggressive from much father away, their line of sight seeming to actually be far more than the usual 2 metres…
The thing is though, whilst I say I am intrigued by it and I genuinely am, I’m not hugely tempted to log in and play the free trial further. Which puzzles me somewhat… I do like the idea of the game, the old school concept is exactly my sort of thing and normally I can live with bad graphics in return for gameplay, but something isn’t clicking here. I’ve got another week or so left on this trial, but I just can’t be arsed. Hmmm that probably works quite well as a summary: “I can’t be arsed with Darkfall”.
Finally, Minecraft. Oh Minecraft, how I love thee.
Like most people I’ve been playing the game single player for ages and it’s beyond brilliant. Now however we have a Kill Frenzy private server running and it has been proper epic fun. I had started digging out a mine shaft below my home when I burst through into a series of caverns, which isn’t that unusual, however these ones have proven to be absolutely monstrous in scale and complexity. We’ve had groups of us exploring the caves and battling loads of monsters, it’s proving to be an epic task. Every time we think we’ve got the place lit up and stopped the monsters spawning, a bloody Creeper appears and we discover another series of tunnels and caverns. Quite a few of us have on numerous occasions got horribly lost and needed rescuing… It’s going to take a long time to get it all explored, let alone marked up and made safe.  Awesome. Pure, undiluted, awesome.
And this has made absolutely clear another of the big things I am missing in modern MMOs: exploring. Proper exploring, not the guide me by the hand through point A, B, C quest chaining that the post WoW generation has brought us. I mean proper, wild world, where any direction can bring you something new to look at, fight or harvest and without zone boundaries after 5 minutes in one direction. Quests in MMOs were a good idea, but its gone too far. PvE wise now the quest is everything and all freedom of thought is not encouraged. You WILL kill 10 rats HERE and then you WILL kill 10 sheep THERE!
I’m not entirely sure what the solution is, because clearly the games that offer more freedom do not get the financial backing they need. Wurm Online, Darkfall, etc are comparatively low budget niche games and presentation wise are a million miles away from the WoW and RIFTs of the gaming world. The fact that all the big funding goes to the latter types says everything about what’s considered a safe investment. Surely though a safe compromise is possible? Minecraft MMO?

Friday 8 April 2011

Bloody typical

So I post about unsubbing and later the same day Mythic put 1.4.2 on the PTS which has the potential to fix my primary issue with WAR.


For some strange reason the patch notes are not up on the forum in an official post, but there's a copy and paste job in here.

Anyways, its not enough to make me instantly resub, but I will be watching with interest. If it doesn't suck and makes my horde of alt characters viable again, then sure, I will most likely reactivate my account. Still leaves a truck load of other issues outstanding and don't get me started on sodding pets.

Thursday 7 April 2011

Sub go bye bye

Yet another mini absence by me… I can only apologise, my time and focus have been elsewhere, though thankfully its for real life reasons that for once are good ones. For those that knew what’s been going on over the last 6 months, everything has been pretty much sorted out. Phew. Anyways, you’re not reading for that stuff, so back to gaming and so on.
After my last post about me not feeling entirely settled in RIFT and missing the pick up and play of WAR, you may have expected me to have drifted further back to WAR. However that’s not what happened at all; in fact I have for the first time cancelled my WAR subscription. I did give WAR a bit more of a spin initially, but very quickly discovered that nothing had changed at all and to continue playing would only serve to sour my opinion further. The last couple of times I played went something like this:
I logged in with my RR60 Choppa as I figured a change from my RR80 Chosen (or 81, I forget…) would be better. So I spent some time sorting out his improved gear options, then went out to Riekland and took part in a keep take. Which comprised of watching a doors health go down, as melee there was nothing else to do, I logged off. The next day I logged in and went to Praag to find a fight. I strolled into the RvR lake and straight away saw a Slayer appear to 1 shot a Marauder. Even so, I wasn’t going to run in pixelated fear and I charged in with a guttural roar of WAAAAGH! Alas, I had my 9.5k wounds removed in 2 seconds, at least according to the combat log. It felt like less… Now, I know I was using a lower RR character and the higher player should have an advantage, but under no circumstance should it be that much. It’s silly, restrictive, WoW PvGear bullshit and the primary reason that I stopped playing. Anyone justifying it is deluded, end of story. I logged off and shortly after started thinking about cancelling my subscription. Yes I know there's another patch coming at some point that will supposedly fix things, but it isnt here yet and I remain unconvinced.
I must say that if Mythic kept the WAR subscription cost at it’s current price, but included DAoC access with it… I’d resub instantly and dabble with DAoC when WAR was being rubbish, but they haven’t, so I won’t. Money is tight at the moment and paying a premium MMO subscription fee for a game that I’m barely playing at all just doesn’t make sense. Plus WAR has clearly stagnated, it is in dire need of critical changes and genuine new content (tome unlocks and pets do NOT count), but with Mythic’s resources apparently almost entirely siphoned off to Star Wars these critical patches are just way too slow in coming. This cancellation of course does nothing to remedy my drop in/out PvP fix that RIFT can not at present supply and I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do about that. Unfortunately there’s nothing else out there that can cover it.
I’m always tempted by DAoC, but really that demands more time than I’ve got and would have to compete with RIFT, which is difficult because the PvE in RIFT is still proving to be very enjoyable and still feels fresh. As such, my reliable chunks of gaming time are spent there and in general gladly. Of course I do have concerns about its long term viability for me and the whole raid PvE materialistic scene that breeds loot whore selfish retards, but for now it’s fun and if we’re lucky Trion will add more  PvP focussed areas.
My random gaming moments are instead being spent on single player games and dicking about on a free to play Ultima Online second age shard (second age is before it went all carebear friendly). I must say playing Ultima Online from that era again has been a revelation, the game maybe dated, clunky and so on, but it’s still got far more sense of world and adventure than pretty much anything else. Yum! I know it’s a temporary distraction mind you.
Which means my MMO gaming future is a little cloudy, at least until something a bit more modern arrives (or gets fixed!) with a PvP focus. With no UO2, DAoC2 or proper WAR expansion on the cards there isn’t much to look forward to in that regard. Star Wars sounds more like a Neverwinter Nights online style co-op PvE game than an MMO, Dark Millenium is ages away, Secret World is made by Funcom so will by definition be a buggy pile of crap, Guild Wars 2 doesn’t interest me at all (based on experience of the first one) and Planetside Next has an unpredictable future, if not cancelled already. The only other game I’m interested in is CCP’s vampire MMO, which comes out God only knows when.
Meh, so all a bit lame really. Something inspiring needs to happen.

About Me

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