Friday, 19 December 2014

Witcher II: The Conclusion


After a bit more than a year-long pause I returned to Witcher II in order to finish it after I saw the latest trailer. I have already talked about my experiences of the First, and Second Act, and I was really excited to get back to it, but at the same time I stalled and made excuses to myself because I was afraid the game would end too fast, and I was really enjoying it. It turned out I was right. The third act, as I left with the Roche for the Loc Muinne turned out to be the shortest of them all.

I met my old friends from the first game, the Order of the Flaming Rose and they were not really thrilled to see me. Probably something to do with me siding with Scoia'tael and fighting against them. But then again, these holier-than-thou bunch of hypocrites was stealing my business, killing monsters. And to top it off, they were doing it for free. It was only logical to join the rebellious elves and dwarves. While their interests might have not aligned with my own, they at least did not steal my profits. As I see it, God intended for witchers to do the witcher's job, and noble knights and crusaders should focus on the heretics and the wicked instead.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Too Much Hatred for Steam?


First a couple of clarifications. I saw the first trailer of Hatred, and based upon it I decided the game is not my cup of tea. I saw the "gameplay" videos of Dear Esther and came to conclusion that visual novel is a more correct term for it than calling it a video game. You might call it elitist, but I actually expect certain level of gameplay out of a game, not just walking around doing nothing. But then again, to each his own, and even that is on Steam.

Now some of you might want to argue that Dear Esther in comparison to Hatred is nowhere near as violent and homicidal. You would be right. But then again, a lot of other games on Steam are far more both violent and homicidal than Dear Esther, and are still on sale on Steam. Many games on Steam are already more gory, brutal, and horrific than Hatred. We cannot really judge what kind of game Hatred really is, because it is not out yet, because it doesn't seem to have any platform where it can be sold, and because many of will not even give it a chance. Two of the three facts require no arguing, while one of those three is rather weak reasoning appealing to our morality.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Bloggy XMAS 13: A Tale of Nothing Too Serious


As quick as I was to volounteer for MMO Gypsy's Bloggy XMAS event where we would write something about the gaming and community, I had trouble actually writing something on the topic. I read the other posts that came before me hoping there would come some sort of epiphany. And since the thirteen is already accursed number in the heads of the most, I was not about to let you all down. As I was reminiscing, trying to recall what is even worth to remember in my relatively long history of MMO gaming, I came to conclusion that there is not much on this particular topic. Most that is worth retelling is about Me, Myself, and I. And while I would love to indulge in it, it is not really appropriate considering the occasion. So I was thinking what else is there. You see, I always was, still am, a person that cares only for those close to me. As I see it, far from heart, even further from the mind. And that in the end brought me to the tale I am about to tell you on this Thirteenth day of Blogging Advent Calendar.

It was back in the days when Winters were cold and snowy, Summers warm and sunny. In Autumns leaves abandoned the trees, and in every Spring life would start anew with flowers blooming after a long break. Truly those were wondrous times full of joy and glory. As I hit level 80 a month after everyone else on good old Daggerspine I was in search of a new guild. My old crumbled apart. That was something of a common occurrence back in the days. One day a guild could be the best on the realm, the next day a guild was no more. In any case, I started looking for a new "home". I went through a couple of young budding guilds, a couple of veteran, searching for my place in Azeroth. None really fit. I knew that and I left those nameless guilds without any additional thought.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Hearthstone: Miserable Launch of Goblins vs Gnomes in EU


You know how we speculated that Blizzard had separate launch for EU, and the rest of the world because it might be due to server capacity? You know how we thought this might all be because unlike other Blizzard's games, Hearthstone servers for EU are located over the pond? While that might be true or not, it does not really matter any longer. It probably never mattered anyway. What matters is the fact that the Hearthstone expansion launched in Europe a day after the rest of the world, and it still suffered for the same problems they had in America.

Now I can understand the bottleneck. I do not even blame the Blizzard for this, even though at this point they should have been better prepared. But they were not. What I have problem with is that for the whole day of the 9th of December we had barely any information about the release of the expansion that by all means should have already been released in EU. And by God, this is a problem Blizzard seems to just let happen on their own. They let it fester. It boggles my mind how a company of their level fails at the basics that are communication with your audience. This should never happen in the first place.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Tropico 3, How to be a Dictator


These past couple of days I played a fair bit of Tropico 3. Reason being this city building game was collecting dust for quite some time in my Steam Library, and I felt what could only be described as despotic urges bubbling deep inside me. As I always believed in the concept of benevolent tyrant I decided to test out my theory. To be fair, even ancient history of Rome shows us that it is possible to have one man in charge of the state for troubling period and that such a man would return the power back to the people when danger passed. After all, this is where the term dictator comes from. So with that in mind I decided to rule over the people with their own interests in mind, and become something alike second father to them all.

I have heard all possible horror stories from my friend who is playing Tropico 4. I should probably clarify that all those horror stories are of his own doing. He actually aims to eliminate all dissenters, get rid of all religious people and so on. At times I want to believe those are just stories to stir a reaction in me. First I wanted to see how everything works, and learn the mechanics. I used the campaign mode for that. After the lesson was over, I would go and rule my own tropical island for next fifty years. It is how I usually approach these things, first trial by fire where you either do or die, and then when you are familiar with everything, you can play as you want.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Blizzard's Ambivalent Approach to In-Game Store


I have to admit I am a bit bemused of late with Blizzard's various ways, schemes, and practises when it comes to In-Game Store and various money grabs. Their approach seems to be rather chaotic, and far from uniform. In every game they currently have a cash shop, their approach is different. And while I cannot judge the success of each of the shops that are placed in World of Wwarcraft, Heroes of the Storm, and Hearthstone, I can share my thoughts about it.

In order to avoid damnation from the very start let us begin with Hearthstone. This I believe is of late the fairest of the three shops in Blizzard's games. While I maintain that individual wings of Naxxramas are pricey as all hell, and that Blizzard really went too far with it, it seems they are aware of it themselves. Especially if we take in consideration their latest efforts in regards with Goblins vs Gnomes expansion. Right now you can get a free arena ticket. That is equivalent of 150 gold coins. You get that much gold in average with three daily quests. In couple of days, when the expansion is officially released you will be able to get three free packs of cards from the new expansion. Each pack is worth 100 gold coins.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Thoughts on Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer



Before I begin, I think a brief history of me and Star Wars is in order. I never really watched Star Wars as a child. I saw the trailers, and thought they were awesome, but I never really watched any of the films until I grew up. And when I did, on the urging of my friends and my own curiosity, I started with the original trilogy, and then went to prequels. To be honest, the original looked to me like a generic fairy tale or fantasy adventure put in space. I loved the concept around the Force which appeared to be closer to a cult, then something everybody in the universe knows about in detail. This is probably what I hated the most in the prequels. That they tried to reduce fore to something measurable, explainable and quantifiable. They changed the Force from something mystical and not really at reach into something ordinary.

I saw this as Lucas's attempt to prove the existence of Force. Which in my mind is utterly ridiculous unto itself, redundant, and without any real purpose. We already knew the Force existed, we never needed to know what exactly is this Force or how exactly it works. Next thing that bothered me was how utterly ridiculous the Jedi order was. Qui-Gon Jinn is the only one sensible in the span of the whole three prequels. Everyone else is just terrible. Jedi are the greatest bunch of hypocrites in the whole Republic. Obi-Wan and Yoda created Darth Vader all by themselves. All Palpatine had to do after that was to console him, and tell him he will help him. But anyway, let us get to this trailer and what it brings us.