Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Markee Dragon issued a challenge to gamers to play video games and get paid! Battle Vortex has accepted this challenge, and I would encourage all you game bloggers, You Tubers, and gaming fan site people to do the same. Really, all that can happen is you won't make any sales. No blood or guts will spew from your bodies, so get in there!

To learn more about the Pay to Play challenge visit:

To learn more about Shattered Crystal visit:

To become a Shattered Crystal Affiliate like me visit:

Thanks to Markee Dragon for giving us all this opportunity to show our stuff and make some money at the same time!

For more information about Markee Dragon visit:

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Has your WoW Account Been Stolen? Watch Your Email Account...

Watch the latest video blog here:

Account hackers and gold farmers are getting more and more desperate and crafty about finding ways to get to your WoW account. I have even heard mention that the WoW authenticator has been bypassed in some cases.

I have a friend who's account was compromised a couple of weeks ago, and it appeared that they may have hacked the email account first, then changed the WoW account password so they could get in and strip the characters of all their gold and items. This all took place while she was asleep, not logged in to World Of Warcraft.

Besides getting the WoW authenticator, you can also protect yourself by using stronger passwords, and using different passwords for each account you access on the Internet. Let's face it, you just never know how or when something bad might happen, but if you spend a little time protecting yourself, the loss, if any, will be less. Another option is to use an alternate email address for things like games and non-essential things like Facebook or other sites you may use to store things like pictures or music etc.

I know these methods are a bit of a pain, but like I say in the video, you have to be as cautious with your Internet accounts as you are with yourself walking down a dark alley late at night.

Just some food for thought today.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Backyard Monster Attack Fourth Wave...

Check out the latest here:

After my slightly less then successful video the other day using my friend Jim as a testing ground, I decided I need a video of me actually winning a few resources...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Flight Of The Horde...

Check out the latest HD video here:

In this video I show you Origimar, the Orc's capital city. I show off my dragon and fly around the newly revamped city and talk about various aspects of the land. This video is best viewed in full screen.

If you don't have Cataclysm yet, visit this link: World of Warcraft: Cataclysm (North America and Oceanic Edition)

New Video Blog About Backyard Monsters PVP...

Check out the latest:

In this episode, Fear speaks about Backyard Monsters and the basics of attacking another persons back yard. Thanks to Jim S for being a test subject in this video. I don't do so well at getting the job done, but you will get an idea of how to attack someone and how you should feel about that. - Watch in full screen for best results.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Battle Vortex Audio Show Lives...

Like a blast of hot wind in your face, the BV Audio Show has been returned to the Internet by Viceroy of UO Radio!

Currently there are no descriptions of anything, but I will work on that over time here. Really though, do you need a description to hear the cutting edge commentary of Fear, Cyberwolf, Adrick, and Evocare? I don't think so...

Honestly, most of the archives are about 10 years old. Created back before we ever had cool systems in place like YouTube and Ishare. Back in the day I would make recordings on cassette tape, and then put them on the computer, edit them and add my own special Fear flavor to the mix. The quality was much lower then it is today, so you will have to forgive the sound. Everything had to be uploaded for the super fast 56k modem speeds that we don't see that much of anymore.

The link is now on the right hand bar under Audio Show Archives, or you can click below.

Battle Vortex Audio Show Archives

And guess what? There still aren't any transcripts for ANYTHING.. Muahahahaha! Sorry, that's a really old joke...

Oh happy day!

Edit: Speaking of old school, here is an Interview I did with Markee Dragon back in 2002! Visit his site to see how much has changed.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wow Has Me Back Enjoying Myself For A Minute...

As you all know, WoW's newest expansion Cataclysm was released at Midnight last Monday, and as far as I know, everything went alright. I didn't hear any bitching about the game crashing or anything like that this time around, and so with that, I have to say Kudos to the Blizz folks!

Blizz released the major parts of the patch and a hotfix the weeks just before the official release. I had already pre-ordered and installed before hand, so I didn't experience any problems. I wasn't around at the actual launch, but I was on for a few hours afterwards and I had some really exciting experiences which I will get into later.

Anyway, I have started on several paths, which is just the way I roll. I of course have a couple level 80's I can work on to get to level 85. Which, by the way, several people have already made it to level 85 in less then 24 hours on my server according to some messages I saw on my screen while I was playing. How the hell did they do that? I thought I was sorta hard-core, but I didn't even make it half way to 81 on my main character.

When I first came into the expansion, my first mission was to get my flying license for the old lands and do what anyone would do... Fly above Orgimar and Stormwind and see what the heck is up there. We all spent a lot of time trying to climb the highest points in those cities to see what we could see before, but now we were actually able to do a vertical climb and a 360 degree check.

In a word, the Stormwind view was breathtaking. I could really find myself appreciating the actual size of the project that these folks had put together. The city is amazing to look at from above. I flew around some places I had always seen on the flight path from Stormwind to Ironforge just to see what was up there. I had always seen tents and camp fires on my flights but no actual mobs of any kind. I thought they might do something with them now since we can finally get there. Nope, they didn't really change too much, but I did also find this interesting patch of sheep with one in particular that I would love to find out more about the story on.

So, I found this little dude way up on top of a mountian with nothing but a bunch of sheep and an empty house way above Stormwind. I imagine this is just stuff that was left over or forgotten about from back in the day, but I am sure it would make for an interesting story of why he is there. I didn't bother killing him, I wasn't sure if he would respawn.

Not to discount Orgimar, as it is also a beautiful view, but we have always been allowed to walk on top of that city, so my curiosity about it was not the same as the birthplace of my first character.

My next mission was of course to take my main character and go check out the new quest for well, the next level and whatnot. My main was recently transformed from Alliance to Horde, so I am getting a bit of a double dose of interesting. I have been in the new Zone Vashj'ir (Dont't even get me started on trying to pronounce that one). The entire zone is under water, which is awesome that they did that, but I am not the best swimmer in the game. I would have rather done some kind of on top of the water battles, but who knows, maybe that's later on. Anyway, the idea is the same, go kill and collect stuff and report back. All of your old armor is just about poo compared to the new greens they give you for doing quests.

One thing I would ask for here is that it needs to be easy to get rid of junk or sell it to a vendor. I am sure I am like many others that have been on the pack hording society for the last year or so, and I ran into a problem with my packs getting full. As far as I could tell, there is nowhere to dump stuff to a vendor and obviously no bank. I eventually, just hearthed out and went back to Orgimar to do some business and then had to find my way back via a portal. Fortunately, the guard knew what I was looking for and had it on his list of things for me to find. The only downside is that I was into the story, and this was a detour I don't believe was intended although, it was nice to have the option. I played my main for a few hours, but I was ready to get into the new races so I switched gears a little.

My next step was to create a Worgen. Of course I would.. They are crazy looking creatures with fur and change from Human to Wolf. Not to discount the Gobblins, but I don't do short and chubby races, I am already there in real life. Now, the Worgens have of course the option to be Death Knight, but I wasn't going to go that route this time around. I want to see the new areas and run the quests like a newbie. I don't completely understand the story behind the Worgens, but the zone is beautiful. I made it up to level 11 on my first day before I found a way to get myself some Bind On Account shoulder pads and a couple of bucks for upgrades. Hey, I want to see the new stuff, but I will take any advantage I can get so I don't have to live there forever.

Blizz did a lot with the phasing on this expansion, but I would have to say I was less then pleased with the way it worked out. I think they got a tad carried away in some places and others would allow multiple people to start a quest with someone speaking over the top of themselves. One quest I was on where we get to ride a horse and blow stuff up is started by clicking on a guy, then phased where he starts on this explanation of what we need to do, but there were like 40 of them all talking at once. Kinda made me not want to be there. Other times, they phase a bit much in the Vashj'ir zone, they even showed us a horde putting on different armor and stuff after you went and got it for him. I guess that would be cool, but there was a pause where it phased and it made me break the emersion. I guess, it should just be more fluid if you are going to make it something that small in my opinion.

Other then that, I had some fun, it's still a little grindy to me, but at least they are short bursts, and you can see where you need to go on the map. The experience for me this time around without any add-on's was much better.

Here is my latest video to go with my lengthy update! Please watch and enjoy as I teach you how to do the King Tut!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Cataclysm Has Begun...

New blog about World Of Warcraft, the return:

Ok, I have lost my mind... I reactivated my WoW account and I talk briefly about my experience upon my return. I also discuss a project that BV (Fear) may participate in starting January 1, 2011 with Shattered Crystal and Markee Dragon.

Now that I have my account turned back on, we can get ready for the release of the 3rd expansion coming out on December 7, 2010...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

BYM - The Mission Continues...

The latest video blog can be found here.

This episode Fear talks about Backyard Monsters By the Casual Collective. New monster release, upgraded catapults, and upgraded walls. Fear tells the story of why he thinks the new changes will be better for his group of players.

A few side notes I would like to touch on here. With the previous version of the way they had the game mechanics, you could essentially make a base that was mostly impossible for attackers to make any kind of return on their investment. While this worked wonders for those folks that just like to attack and laugh at you while you try forever to retaliate and crack their base, it was also causing people to stop attacking. I believe the designer saw through this. It was going to be my next topic for BYM, but since he has the same thought process I do on the matter, I can move on.

The biggest issue with the new catapult change is that it was destroying so many blocks, it was discouraging people from playing or rebuilding their base because of all the work involved building blocks, and then placing them back where you had them. Since they fixed that issue, and gave us a way to make the blocks stand up against large attacks, I can't bitch about that either.

I would say that the catapults largest attack mode is a tad overpowered, but I understand that you can only use that a very limited number of times. It will be awhile before people get their bases upgraded, and as I am level 37 or so, I am in no hurry to have other players get ahead of me.

I think the focus of the game and the strategy has changed. It is no longer a matter of if they can take down your base, it is more a matter of how much you are willing to lose by planning your base poorly. You need to understand how the weapons work and use them to your advantage. You are going to have repair times, but as long as they don't take your resources, I don't see the big deal. I will work on attacking you and getting maximum return on my investment, you need to make sure I can't do that.

I will be trying out some new bases now, that I wouldn't have attacked before and see how that goes. I am hoping to run into the new level 4 blocks and see just how much punishment they can take.

Overall, I think the changes are great. I know there will be some tweaking soon, but I have had some real fun the last few days discovering all the new features.

Talk to you all next time!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

World Of Warcraft Commercial on various networks...

I saw the new commercial for Cataclysm to be released on December 7th. The commercial was great, but when I started to think about it. I think they were demonstrating what was going to happen to the servers...

Better not plan on re-subbing to WoW until the 15th.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Famville blog for November 10, 2010

This episode Fear talks about inconsitent decorations, cosume revocation, storage issues, horse stable changes and Facebook gaming issues. Plenty of blinking, humor and sarcasm inside every show. Don't miss it!

Backyard Monsters
This episode Fear talks about Backyard Monsters By the Casual Collective. Basic overview and some tactical information from the PVP master!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

And the farming continues...

Latest from the Fear...

This week Fear talks about the new Halloween items, candy collection, Market stall changes with fuel return, new unreleased items, and Farmville messaging. Plenty of blinking, humor and sarcasm inside every show. Don't miss it!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fear's Video Blog for September 29, 2010

I know I haven't been writing much lately, but as most of you know, I have always preferred a good audio or video to do my dirty work for me. I have been posting these as embedded objects, but they are not coming out too well with the format of Blogger, so I will simply just post the link with a description of what you will find in the videos...

Without further discomfort, I give you the latest from me here:

We ask the important question this week: Who the heck asked for clothes on our trapped farmers? Nursery barn scandal, new combines, crafting co-ops, Haloween items and much more.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Car Town, Backyard Monsters. An Introduction...

This is a special update on some other Facebook games I am playing such as Car Town, and Backyard Monsters. I give a brief summary and tutorial of how to get started with these games and what to expect.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It's All About The Fans! Without You, We Don't Exist!

I think Gene Simmons said something like that. I thought it might work for me...

More from Fear, and commentary about Farmville's crafting changes and the hopeful new Choo Choo train item...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Fear's Off The Diving Board Again In Farmville!

Fear talks mainly about Farmville's storage new limitations/capacity, and the changes to the Winery crafting cottage.

Kid safe language, comedy and sarcasm may be kid safe, it depends on the parent.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

More on Farmville, Video Style!

More with Fear on the new video blog and all about current Farmville issues.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Video Blog, Take 1...

The picture is too dark, the sound is okay, and it's all me... Back from the dead doing a little commentary about Farmville...

Part 1:

Part 2:

Just for giggles, I have a new blog up with much better lighting...

Video Blog for August 13, 2010...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

No Parkin' On Zygna's Dance Floor...

So, Zygna has fixed a couple of issues that I thought worthy of mention. First off they made it so you don't get asked to publish fuel found while plowing until you stop plowing which is a big plus. They have also started to implement a "screen" or a way of shutting off all the timers and graphics when you publish so things do move a bit faster... Kudos to the team for coming up with some workable solutions to our FarmVille blues... They are still popping up a bunch of other messages about gems and stuff, that are totally being skipped by I am sure just about everyone. We still need some sort of fix there Zygna!

Now for the dark side of things... The garages are pretty messed up. Most of the problems are coming from the fact that they don't bring up the list of vehicles in any particular order when you "look inside" the garage structure. When upgrading, you may add some parts to your vehicle of choice, but the next time you add a part, you may see the garage say that the vehicle is fully upgraded when it is not. This happens most often when the vehicle you are upgrading ends up on page 2 or 3 of the list of vehicles. Once it says it is fully upgraded, you can't add more parts until you reload your farm.

I ran an experiment, and found that if you just remove all of the other vehicles down to 3 or less, then the garage is less likely to become confused and you can upgrade you vehicle as per normal. Once you are finished upgrading, you can put your vehicles back in the garage, and use them. Some of the pop-ups for finishing a vehicle are saying the wrong vehicle was upgraded, or it says the wrong number of plots you can now farm. Some of that may be due to the lag and they haven't fully streamlined how the garage mini-game works so it doesn't impact the rest of the system as much. The last "Official FarmVille PodCast" said that the maximum level you could take vehicles to is Level 4. I have not been able to test this on coin paid vehicles, but the "Hot Rod" collection can all be upgraded to Level 5, which is 4 X 4 Plots. Hopefully Zygna is already working on this stuff.

Not much else to complain about except that they seriously need to get the market stuff in order. There is still major lag and confusion while trying to tend to your spa, bakery, or winery. There is also a problem when you get the error message while trying to buy bushels/goods where it is supposed to give you back your coins. It says try again, but if you have purchased your limit, then you can't try again until the timer runs out. You need to refund the time as well as the coins guys!

Anyway, that's all I got for now... Happy Farming!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Noooo... Please Don't "Fix" that...

Zygna sent us a message about fixing something that was broken in the first place. The interruptions and pop-ups they throw at us while we are farming are crippiling most computers. Now that is is broke, we have actually been able to farm without wanting to slit our own wrists...

Here is the message... "Farmers, you may notice that when using a Vehicle to Plow, Seed or Harvest, you aren't getting any messages for Collection items, Bushels and the like. Don't fret, you're still receiving your stuff, just no notification. This will affect your ability to share with friends, unfortunately. We're working on fixin' it soon as we can. "

Zygna, for the love of all that is holy, don't fix it...

That's all I got.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

So, How About A Preferred Friends List For Farmville?

Well, as you know, getting gifts from your real friends that play the game normally is almost impossible if that friend has a lot of neighbors. Much of that is due to all of the gift grabbers and game scrubbers, but I came up with an idea, that may or may not help out the cause of getting your gifts to the people you really want them to go to regardless of how many friends you have. This is the suggestion I sent to Zygna...

Perhaps there may be a way to limit how many people can receive gifts using "game scrubbers" by allowing us to set up 5 and 10 people "preferred friends" lists that we can use to make sure that the people we want to get prizes can get them.

Currently, you can change who gets them in the Facebook publish system, but that is fairly tedious and doesn't let us know if the next 5 or 10 people will get such an item. If there was an option to have a preferred friends list for the top 5 to 10 friends, and then allowing the overage depending on how many preferred friends you choose to be gifted to the general public. That would help greatly for people with a lot of neighbors, that don't want their true friends being left out of the loop.

Hey, I just woke up and it sounded good to me...

In other news, Farmville must be doing more updates. We have had our usual one or two days of normal farming, and now all hell is breaking loose again. The biggest issue for me to do is receiving my mystery gifts which presents a blank screen when I try to collect them from Facebook.

I almost feel bad about bitching about how crappy updates were on World Of Warcraft. At least we would get a break once in awhile. Maybe even get to play 2 weeks before they decided to wreck everything for a few days. I dunno, I think Zygna is having some serious growing pains, but since they keep making the game harder to play and too complicated for the average farmer, those numbers should come down here fairly soon.

That's all I got...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Scrub Farmers Must Die...

Farmville is my game of choice lately and it is not free from unattended macroing. In Farmville's case it comes in the form of people running programs that constantly scan for posts about Farmville, and then automatically accepts gifts that people put on line for the general public or all of their friends.

The problem I have with this is that when I go through and see that my friend has posted a link to an egg or some other item I can not get them even if I click on it within 15 seconds of seeing the post. There are a limited number of people that can collect certian items from other people, and since I choose not to run these programs, I often miss out on stuff that I would like to have on my farm.

I don't breed animals, and I don't really care for the new crafting system. I do like to have a few rares on my farm, and I do like to decorate. I don't mind farming, but it costs me some cash since I don't want to manually click on over 400 plots of ground. I don't take stuff I don't need just to sell for coins and I don't collect things I won't ever put on my farm. Point is that when I want something, I actually want to use it and not just to take up space or collect some coin. The scrub farmers make it almost impossible to get anything.

I really don't mind if they use a bonus checker, because you actually have to interact and choose what you want from the list of all available gifts you can receive. The scrubers can be set up to accept "all" gifts as they come up and that's the part that irritates me.

Farmville is progressing with new stuff rather quickly, and that is good except for the fact they are getting to the point things won't run on older computers anymore. You have no choice to opt out of certian checks and you have no way to slow down or stop the flow of crap they are throwing at you. I understand why they may want to ask you to add a friend or tell you that you have found something, but when it stops you from playing the game then I have a problem with it. Zygna needs to go back and take out some of the suck while playing. There is no reason to have so many checks and so much going on all the time that even my 4gig laptop cringes every time they want to stop me from plowing my ground.

The new Lightning round stuff is just about the biggest pain in the ass I have ever had to deal with. Some of the gems require that you send them to a select list except for the rare items, which get picked off by the scrub farmers. I was lucky enough to have some friends that don't have scrubbers as neighbors so I could complete my gems collection. I don't really see much of the point in what they are doing with this. It is mostly just irritating.

The bee-hives are a joke. I have had one crop fertilized out of about 20, and I don't see why I want to take up the space for something we really didn't need. There are some rules to the bee-hive that aren't consistent with the rest of the game, like losing bees for not being there and harvesting every two days, plus there is supposedly something about having either bunches of flowers or flowers planted to keep all of your bees. Any way you slice it, that system has left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

The crafting sytem needs a ton of work, and now it is a pain to get bushels to use for your own crafted items. I can see this system getting used until everyone levels it to the max, but I don't know that it is truly useful except for getting fast fuel. Eventually no one will buy my level 1 or 2 items because the fuel yield will be too low. Zygna needs to make sure those lower level items will still be viable down the road. It is also only available to your neighbors, so that limits the field of who may even purchase the lower end items. Zygna needs to open this part of the game up to everyone even if they aren't neighbors to keep this system from being a complete failure. The system is still very complicated as well. It is confusing for the general public now to see what they have in inventory for their own bushels versus what is on sale to their friends. They just raised the number of bushels you can have in your inventory, but I don't think there is a clear line for people to see what can and can't be bought or removed from the personal inventory by other people.

Basically, I think Zygna needs to slow it down and streamline all of these new systems before they alienate their entire user base... Zygna has taken a pretty much mindless time waster and turned it into a lagging nightmare for most of us...

That's all I got for now.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Yo'Ville Has Castles, I'm Down With That! & Other random thoughts.

The only real reason I even tried Yo'Ville was because I had some 7-11 rewards that I had turned in so I stuck them in my appartment on Yo'Ville. Later I was looking at the buildings you can purchase and found a castle. That made my decision to get one and play at least in a minimal fashion.

I do like doing the "jobs" or quests they give you to make money. It is easier to pick up energy in Yo'Ville then it is in Frontierville, so I can play a little longer.

Frontierville has made a few things easier, and really the only complaint I have is when it interrupts you to share things with your friends while you are collecting bonus items. Now, farmville does this too, but not when you have 5 seconds to pick up bonus items off the ground... They either need to give you more time to pick things up off the ground or my idea is to wait until you clear the bonuses before bothering you. Better yet, find a better way to bring up the sharing like off to the side, blinking or something that doesn't stop gameplay so harshly. I really get mad when I have to publish and miss out on my little stars and energy bonus items.

Farmville has been getting so jacked up every time they update, it is making us crazy. However, it's still the primary game I play simply because I have a ton of friends playing it.. Certianly more then I could convince to purchase WoW and play.

Is it just me or do these browser based games remind you of the 80's? Is it just an excuse for people to write really cheezy games to milk people for money? At least in the 80's you only had to pay once.

That's all I got...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Frontierville... Why they won't play it.

I have been trying some other games lately on the old Facebook. One of them is Zygna's newest game. It's got a lot of really cool features that should be in Farmville, but they went a bit too far with keeping you from playing.

I know it's a big deal for these free-to-play games to try and "encourage" you to spend money, but Frontierville is almost unplayable without it. They feed you tons of free energy, and food and coins and whatever at the start, but within an hour, you are no longer having fun. Now you are playing like work.

Some issues I have with the game is obviously the lack of energy, and what costs energy. The game feels like it is trying to make you run out at critical times so you are compelled to buy. I don't like this at all. They charge you energy to do things like feed the animals, harvest the trees or ground and any actions where you are gaining something back, but they don't give you enough to get to a fair "stopping" point.

They are empasizing way too much on making your friends help you, getting more friends, and interupting you while you are trying to chase down all the stars, coins, wood, food, and enery that pops out whenever you harvest something.

Now, I realize, this game is still in the baby stage, but I just don't see it taking off like Farmville unless they loosen the strings a little bit. Once you get above level 7 or so, the most you can play in one shot without jumping through some hoops to get energy is about 5 minutes. I just don't think that is quite long enough to keep anyone interested very long.

I do like the fact that they have "quests" you can do to make things and gain more experience while teaching you how to play the game. I am a bit annoyed that they are trying to control the story a little bit too much, because they actually force you to get married and have a kid on this frontier. Most of my friends are under level 20, but I do have one that is higher then that only because they play all day and night, but that's as far as I know about the story thus far.

All the buildings, trees, and just about everything can be rotated and moved, which is a huge plus over Farmville. Farmville is working on this but so far all I can tell is that the non-functional housing is all that can now be rotated. We are still hoping they will let us rotate the functional items soon such as the barns, stables, chicken coops, Dairy and nursery buildings.

So far that's my prediction. I think they are going to see about half or less players then they have on Farmville... Let's see how that all works out.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Living in the country, certainly changes one’s perspective…

Many of you that know me, know I am not a “Country Boy”. I have always lived in the city until about 2006 when I moved out to the country to be closer to my family. I still don’t visit them enough, but that is another story.

I have been so frustrated with WoW lately, that I have been taking a break. I am currently playing a game I never thought I could see myself playing in a million years.

So many of my co-workers and friends have been going on about this game, that I finally decided I needed to check it out, and I did. I am still playing, and I am no longer afraid of change or Free-to-play (F2P) games with the option for Real Money Trading (RMT).

Farmville… There, I said it. A year ago I would have killed anyone who asked me to play. Now, I am looking at level 34 going, “what the hell just happened here?”

One thing that I still don’t like about the game is the focus on making you log in at a certain time to make sure you get those crops harvested. It wasn’t until I started playing the game that I realized that you could fudge on the critical nature of that particular part of the game. You can let your crops sit for some time before anything can happen to them, and there is always the revive option if you really need to collect that cash.

It is incredibly easy, and of course with the cash option, you can get most stuff any time you really want it. Some items go on sale for coins later on down the road, but for impatient people like myself, it is nice to have the option to buy your way to the top.

I don’t really play Farmville for any type of challenge. The real fun for me in FV is that I can help other folks, get stuff they want and get to talk with friends that I might just otherwise not talk to as often being as most of our high school buddies and co-workers don’t have that much in common outside of the past, and work.

I am still not a fan of spamming my friends with everything I do in game, but at least now days people can shut off the feeds from the games and keep their friends “important” comments in tact. Its nice to play something my friends can actually talk about rather then me trying to explain how World Of Warcraft works. Its really just a matter of being able to have a more open dialogue with people rather them thinking I am just some crazy computer geek that has no life.

Now we can all have no life together. Weee!

Anyway, just thought I would throw out an update. I am on hiatus from WoW at this time, but I will probably return when FV gets too boring. I am already slowing down, but my farm is very cool. Well, I think so anyway.

That’s all I got…

Thursday, May 13, 2010

OMG I Can't Take Much More Of This...

I mentioned before that I had created a DK over on Moon Guard. I also moved one of my level 80 characters over there because thus far I have had pretty good luck in PvP at lower levels and I have also met quite a few people and got to do some RP etc...

So, I am playing my level 80, and as I had mentioned before, the Alliance on this server seriously does not get to see Wintergrasp Keep very often. As a matter of fact, I have tried playing at many different times of the day, and we still can't beat those Hordies back to save our souls.

I want to give the Hordies credit for being a really well formed taskforce of folks, but I think something is wrong, because I know that tenacity should be helping us poor folk out a little here. I have never been in a WG where the other team was able to drive all of us to our grave yard and keep us there. This happened today, and likely it will happen again in 2 hours.

There was a lot of talk in the Battleground channel about how lopsided this server is for Wintergrasp. I haven't been around that long to know myself, but the last two weeks have been Hell, and I have only been able to see the Quartermastes in WG one time since I have been playing there. We won at 4 or 5 am, there weren't even enough of us to run the 10 man VOA dungeon afterwards. I just wanted to spend some marks and whatnot, and this is getting to be tiresome.

The other issues I am having is in the regular BG's. I decided that I will just go ahead and play the "Random Battleground" once or twice each day so I can get the Arena points. Sounds easy enough, except that sometimes it takes 10 games, and sometimes I don't even get any arena points because I can't play that long. So I am sitting at my 175 arena points, of which I need 600 to get some nifty gear without doing the arenas themselves. I have been trying this "Daily" arena point project for about 14 days, which means that I get those points about once every other day.

The really hard part for me is that when I go in there, I actually try to play the "game" as intended. In Warsong, you go get the flag, bring it back, make sure the other guy drops his flag and you win. Pretty simple. Yesterday I see folks chatting the whole time about "Free Honor". Some scumbag was all happy because they logged in to find out they had 70K honor and they weren't even at their computer. I just stayed quiet, because my first thought was I wish I had a Hordie on that server so I could kill them all day long. It gets better. They started going on about some sort of "Clicker" program they were using to get this "Free Honor" and that it was "Legal" because all it does is clicks.

By this time I was just about to spit nails. I don't have any proof of anything, but I do know the number of people that are AFK in Battlegrounds is horible on both sides. Many of the people have no interest in getting the objectives, they just want to "Farm Honor".

In my opinion, if that's all they want, they shouldn't be there. I mean, we are driven to the gear, and we need honor to get it, but I think you should actually have to participate to get the honor. This situation tells me that there is a serious problem with the current system. I have ranted about this kind of thing before, and I will keep on until someone wakes up. Don't give them anything unless they do what they are supposed to do. Its not like it is incredibly difficult to play these battleground skirmishes.

If you tried to run a 5 man instance, and stand in the corner while everyone else went and killed the bosses, you would be kicked. I think there needs to be something like that for BG's as well.

That's all I got.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Grass Is Greener?

Well, I suppose since my friend found out that I had moved a character to Moon Guard that I can talk about it a little bit.

I was on a secret mission to build a level 80 DK on Moon Guard so I can play with a friend that has some high level characters there. Well, I still have time to get to 80 before the date I had planned, but my friend saw that I had moved my main character Myd there because I left the confirmation page on the browser screen and forgot to close it.. DOH!

A few things are different here. First it's an RP server, which is very different then a normal server. You have people that actually RP and this server is also said to be the most popular server which seems right since it is FULL most of the time, and often you get to wait in a que to even log in.

I joined a small casual guild, and the GM isn't hardly past level 40 yet. He doesn't seem to know a whole lot about how things should work yet, but between myself and another guildie, we are keeping him on the right path.

There is a bit of ERP going on here which I was suprised to see, but it's like a train wreck. You want to close your eyes, but you can't tear yourself away from the entertainment value of it all. Goldshire here is loaded with duels and a bunch of naked people inside the inn. I have never seen so many people in one place anywhere before, and they have everything including table dancers and prostitution from what I can tell so far. Guild names like "Barely Legal" and "X-Rated". Now, I am not sure how far this rabbit hole goes, but that's not the only place this kind of thing goes on.

Silvermoon also has an inn like this with some ERP, however it is not as populated. Actually, Silvermoon here is really populated everywhere else. There are Blood Elves all over this place, which again, I had never even seen more then one or two Blood Elves in Silvermoon on my normal server, so this was quite the experience.

Outside of that, Moon Guard is quite fun with the exception of the Dungeon Finder. It takes a lot longer to get a PUG going here, but the BG's are lightning fast. I have not seen much of the inside of Wintergrasp here however. The Allies just don't seem to have their ducks in a row here like the did on the normal server. Horde seems to stay in control there most of the time.

Anyway, it's good to be here on MG... I'll have some stories later I'm sure. ;)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Stop With The Sissie La-La Already...

In direct response to Tobold's latest ballistic attempt to tear down EvE for its PvP Game... I just have to say, "Breathe man, Let it go!" Yea, the PvP there is pretty rough man. That's why they don't have Eleven-Million subscribers dude.

One post on the subject was enough to give me a headache, but now we are on like the fourth or fifth one and I don't even want to read the comments anymore.

All of the elitists of the world unite! Who fricken cares? I sure don't. I can't remember where I saw it, probably Lum's site, but Raph Koster who was once one that had a vision of the perfect game, now turned Facebook application micro-transaction king, said something to the effect that we are all just a bunch of elitist snobs. Sticking to our little corners, only playing with those that see everything the same way we do. Ya know what, he was right... Most of the tripple A gamers are a bunch of snobs. Quite frankly, we should just play single player games and get over it. Eveyone that doesn't see what we see is obviously wrong. It's kind of sad really. Even though I was slightly offended by his comments, the guy was right about that.

As a blogger, I don't think it is our job to be objective, or even say that we like something at all. As a matter of fact if my whole gaming experience was all good, I wouldn't write at all. It's about making things right or making them better that interests me. I certianly like to post about things I have done that are fun, but I am also very passionate about things that make me angry.

Tobold's postings about how he got ganked do not bother me in the least. I get beat up all the time in World of Warcraft. The thing is "how do you overcome the odds, and are you willing to put the time in to do it"? There are certianly many times in WoW's "balanced" battleground skirmishes where the team I am on is outnumbered by the enemy. Many reasons include, the lack of communication, the fact that we don't all stay together, or just simply that people don't see the same goals during the battles. There are many times different objectives in a battle, and people decide which is important to them. So, to say EvE is unfair, but WoW is far would be completely false.

I don't play EvE, wait scratch that. I played EvE for about 4 hours once, and deleted it because I knew I didn't want to go through the process of finding out what the hell was going on. Too much confusion for me, and ya know what? I don't feel bad for leaving. If I had stayed, and I ever got ganked like Tobold did, I would spend every waking hour rebuilding and going back to kick those guys asses that did it to me. Oh yea... PvP is all about the revenge baby, and if you get me enough times, I will focus all of my energy on you and how to make you pay.

Tobold obviously doesn't have that gene built into his programming... PvP is for people who like to be competitive with others on a forceful playing field. If you can't hang with that, then my advice would be to walk away, find something else to do.

It's hard to take comments from someone who openly doesn't like PvP and apply them to "constructive critisism". It's painfully obvious that if someone doesn't like PvP, then there is nothing good that can be said about it. I don't particularly like PvE, but I still do it. I do it and try to imagine why someone would put themselves through such torture, but for someone that won't engage and learn about it constructively, it makes no sense. It's like talking about something you shouldn't even be engaged with. It's okay to say you don't like something, but to try and tear something down that obviously you don't want, but works for many other people is somewhat silly IMHO.

That's all I got...

Monday, May 3, 2010

Okay, I'm In... Just Make Sure I Get My Castle!

New combat video from SWTOR... Impressive looking. I still don't want to be a bounty hunter, but I like most of what I have seen in this video.

However, I am a bit dissapointed I didn't see Darth Adrick... ;(

I don't remember who said it, but someone mentioned that the combat will be more geared towards beating incredible odds, and barely making it through the fights. Well, it sounds good, and that is fun, but I don't know if I can take that every time. Sometimes I just want to kick some royal easy hineys...

Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't... Just FYI...

I am still playing WoW. I have a lot of stuff going on there, but I haven't revealed my evil plot to take over the world just yet. I am riding my Celestrial Mount to vicory. That's all I have to say about that.

That's all I got.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Waiting To Buy Something Just Took On New Meaning...

I just had to see what everyone was talking about today, so I went to the Blizzard store to see if the rumors were true.

The Celestial Mount is on sale for a cool $25.00, and apparently there are a whole bunch of people waiting to buy them. I got in for a wait time of 8 hours and 120,000 or so people waiting before me. That's about $3,000,000 (Three Million) bucks worth of orders that I quickly exited the que for. I got it later on when things were less crowded.

That's more people then there was at the original screening of Star Wars at the Centenial theatre back in the 80's. Well, I was first in line for that, so this made me feel like I was in a completely different state from the start of the line.

Anyway, I don't have a problem spending a few bucks to get stuff for a game I love. At least these are optional, and not required for you to enjoy the game. The only thing I was less then pleased with is that you can't get the speed of 310% unless you have at least one other 310% mount. I think for that much cash, you shouldn't have any restrictions, but that's just me.

A lot of people don't like the microtransactions, and many do. I don't have much of an issue with paying to get something if I happen to have the money, and I can actually use it for something. The pets are okay, but they are hard to use for anything except standing around, at least the mount can be utilized all the way from 20 to 80. You still have to buy the training, but the mount works at level 20.

Someone said it's just a different skin for an already available mount. Ummm, better not tell the car companies about this, or they might start using the same idea to sell more cars! GM, Pontiac, Buick, Chevrolet would just die if they knew you could reskin a chasis and make money! OH NOES! Please, that is just a silly arguement.

That's all I got!

Friday, April 9, 2010


Probably just for me since I know I am all alone here, but... If you choose, I have gone down the dark path of Twitter for fun and games.

Catch me here @fearbv

Monday, April 5, 2010

Fear Is Back Where He Belongs...

Not to say that I won't do both PvE and PvP, but I am once again enjoying PvP with the new battleground finder.

The queues run like lightning, and I don't have to wait for a tank or a healer to show up. Although things go much better with a few healers around. I haven't had to wait even 30 seconds on the random selections, and I am getting to play arena's I normally wouldn't just because of that wait.

So far so good. The arena points addition was very helpful. Although it will take me forever to make enough of them to buy anything, I will still collect them. I am not sure if they will be wiping arena points after each season like they did before, but if they are going to, I can see some issues cropping up with the people that don't know the points will be wiped.

I haven't decided which is the best way to go for gear, but obviously weapons are still easier to get from dungeons, while most everything else can be bought from the bg vendors. I have started building my new PvP set, but with the stuff I have already aquired from dungeons, I am pretty buff.

I still can't keep those rogues off my lock, but once in awhile, if I am fast enough, I can get my succubus pet to freeze em long enough for me to turn round and fear spam the wholey bejesus out of em. :)

Anyway, just a quick update, I still have STO installed, but the game time has slowed a bit. I got a new ship, and she is pretty cool, but I don't know how long I can hang in there and wait for the game to show up.

Anyway, that's all I got.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Crafting? You Mean Item Grinding (Pt. 2)...

Well, before I could get more of a response out the door... Lum has spoken the holy word and said some of the things I didn't.

Just to set the record straight. I am not a crafter by design. I much prefer the company of "Corp Por" to sitting around tailoring or popping potions for a living. However, in WoW, killing players doesn't pay as well as it did in UO since we could actually kill the crafters and take all their loot. Ahhh, the good old days... ;)

I do like to craft more as a hobby, and I like to see what is going on out there so I can talk about it and empathize with those poor folks that have to do this stuff on a regular basis. I also don't like dungeons, and I don't do raids for similar reasons, and because these days, I don't have 25, like minded friends to go play with either.

So, to continue now using some of Lum's comments as a refrence. I didn't know SWG had crafting designed by ex-UO designers. I was on my ten year vacation at that time, so I didn't get to play, but a lot of the things Lum mentioned, are in fact the same issues I have with WoW. Items are important to be valuable. I don't know exactly what the definition of being tedious would be, but the chance to fail, and difficult to find mats are pretty tedious in my opinion. Fishing is pretty tedious, and that's the trade I think has the best design for building around.

I noticed AION had a pretty nice selling system where they had an Ebay like WoW, or you could just plop your toon out front of a heavy traffic area and sell yourself. That system reminded of UO a little bit, but in UO, you could set your vendor outside your house and just fill it up with goodies, and then empty the virtual piggy bank vendor when you needed cash. You could then go out and continue playing the game and not be stuck like a statue out in the middle of a city.

Another thing I liked about AION and even Star Trek Online MMO, is that they try to give you a reason to wear "off duty" or clothes just to hang out. They do it different ways, but there are some really nice outfits you can obtain with the correct amount of cash on you. In WoW, its just not cool to wear a tuxedo or anything but the latest in Raid fashion. Everyone at any particular level will be wearing the exact same armor they get from the dungeons now. Since there is not much of a social side to WoW besides the trade chat from hell, we don't even want to see each other.

A crafter with the given skills and a wide variety of things to make could change all that. Even in UO, with limited options, people found ways to be different and hang out. WoW just doesn't seem to have that same loving feeling about it. Its a shame really.

Oh man, talk about memory lane. I have brought this up before, WoW for some reason skipped a couple of the most important trade skills and I have no idea why. Lumberjack and Bow Fletching are highly useful and since we have bows and arrows in this game, I don't see why we don't have anyone making this stuff. I killed so many birds in UO, that when I would be outside and see a bird flying around I actually wanted to kill it in real life. Just in my mind, I never actually would hurt a bird. Running around chopping wood for bows and arrows was also something that was sort of fun to do since you could get killed while you were out there. Blizz decided to go after cartography, which was also in UO, but it was one of the last trade skills they added. At least as of 2004 when I stopped playing MMO's.

Lum is not the only one that remembers this stuff. He's got the number of played titles on me, but I know where he is comming from.

I have more, but I have to go to work. =( I will leave you with this though. WoW, please hire an ex-UO craft designer, have them come in and fix your crafting game. Ask Tom Chilton, he should know a couple of these guys.

Thanks and happy hunting!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Crafting? You Mean Item Grinding...

Most of what I would talk about here is in response to Tobold's latest troll for using "Cool Downs" or "CD's" to craft items.

For the easy answer, the cool downs are not casual friendly, so my first response would be to say that it is a bad idea. Cool downs tend to make us feel forced to log in, and those types of things make us casual players uneasy.

I do find myself wanting to log in to get that precious gem transmuted every day and collect the 130-190 Gold. However, when they took the cool down from the high-end tailoring cloth, I found myself not having anything to do. I don't really like doing dailies, so the cool downs were about all I would handle many times when I log in.

So, here's some of what I like and dislike about crafting. First of all, they should be about the same. I really don't like that some crafts are way more profitable fun then others, and I think all of them need to be more important and corrected in the game.

Fishing has the correct skill building. You should gain from just using the skill, not by where or what you are fishing for. Don't force us to fish where we might otherwise not want to do so. I don't have a problem with a chance to fail or fish up vendor trash, although it is not really needed.

Alchemy has the "discovery" option built in so that we have a chance to find new recepies. I think they should have this with all of the trade skills, and it would be nice to include more of the recepies in the chance for discovery.

Tobold mentioned the "hard to aquire" recepies, and I don't like those very much at all. I am not a person that wants to go through a rep grind or searching the entire planet for stuff to make. Most of those items are not worth it, because there is a limit to what will sell.

I also don't really like the items I can craft only for myself. I think anything I can make should be available for me to sell to potential customers. I think enchanting has the best set up with the vellium's and they should expand that more to tailors and leatherworkers.

Recepie drops in dungeons and on monsters are nice. I almost always win the roll on these for tailoring in the ICC heroic dungeons, and it is a nice perk to be able to get something for yourself while you are risking your life to destroy the Lich King.

Tailoring in general is about completely worthless. There are only two or three items I have ever seen that you can even craft that anyone will buy on a regular basis. I have tried several times to sell Item Level 200 items on AH, and those things just don't want to be sold. There are some Royal Moonshroud items, and Merlin's Robe which are very nice, but I don't have the recepies for those. At 5000 Gold a pop, it's not likely I will see those any time soon.

A couple of the problems have to do with the fact that there is no reason to keep any of the lower level stuff around. There are recepies for each colored item, instead of just crafting an item and then dying it a color you or the customer can choose. Items with stats are somewhat silly since that forces it into a level range for the customer. Who ever designed that system obviously never played UO. All items including leather in UO could be dyed a different color. That alone opens up a lot of options.

If we were allowed to create scaled items similar to the Heirloom items that would grow with the customer, that would give us at least some potential market value for our crafted goods. Not all items need to scale of course, I am mostly talking about armor. If the items can adjust to each individual, and if there was a real reason people could wear something besides to stand out front of the bank, then we might have an economy starting here.

On a different note. Why don't we just have bandages? Why make it a cloth fest to train up a skill that everyone will get anyway? I think you should just be able to buy bandages or make them if you are a "tailor" for example out of whatever cloth you want and then sell them. Bandages should scale with the user. Does a level 80 character really bleed more then a level 1? Well, in health maybe, but comon. You should gain skill in first aid by applying a bandage, not making them. Again, this makes tailoring a little more important if they have something they can sell. You can always make them available on some sort of vendor for say "regular" bandage. Maybe let the tailored bandages have other bonuses or do extra healing.

Some of the cloth is too hard to find. Wool comes to mind. Fortunately we don't really need it unless we are training up First Aid.

So, this is just my first pass on this subject, but some things to chew on. Crafting needs a lot of work, but please don't make it take more time, lets work on making it worth doing and "fun"...

That's all I got.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cataclysm Snails, and Pink Pigtails...

Oh, I may have spoken about this before, but recently Larisa came up with an idea for those of us burned out old vets waiting for Cataclysm to come out so we can see something new.

PvP was one of her suggestions and it is supposed to be one of the many end-game ideas Blizzard stuck in the game for us. I, on the other hand, want to point out my own Cataclysm. "Tauren Jumping". Often when I am waiting in Org for my dungeon que to open up and let me get my bag of goodies, I search in front of the bank and auction house for idle Taurens. These guys are really big, and if you start at the top of the hill, and run down on a mount like the Red Skeletal Warhorse, you can get some really good airtime.

Seriously, my guild is small, but when I tell them I am Tauren jumping they just laugh at me. I have tried to explain just how awesome it is when 4 or 5 Taurens line up so you can jump them like a motocross racer, but somehow they just don't believe me.

A lot of what is lacking in WoW to me is the ability to do stuff outside the box. I mean things like housing in UO. You could decorate your house with stuff that you found out and about in dungeons or off of monsters. If you wanted, you could set out tables, chairs, and even food for friends to come by and visit. We would use cloth and other things to make designs on the floor or swiming pools. The number of things people would do in a 2d world with items was just amazing. So, my point is that there was always something you could do, even if it wasn't trying to accumulate more stuff or reputation etc.

There are many examples of things you can do, but I think Tauren Jumping should become a meta-game with a score board and a leader system on the Net like Arena PvP... No seriously.

Actually on the Alliance side I also play, Climb the Statue. There is a big statue in front of the bank that we love to climb to the top if possible. Sometimes I can get up there, but lately I haven't been able to get on top of the guys head. Once you are up there, the next fun thing is to see how much higher you can get so you cast something like Black War Mammoth to give you that extra boost into the sky.

I guess that game will be ruined once we can fly in the old lands. Ahh well...

That's all I got...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I'm not the only one thinking about Farmville...

I have been meaning to write something about this for awhile. Farmville, and games like it really piss me off. His Lumness, put up an article about how the traditional MMO Developers and the Facebook Application industry peeps are at war.

I've noticed that many of the pioneer type MMO people have moved into the realm of making games for Facebook. Recently I recall Raph Koster, Anthony Castoro, and even Richard Garriott going down this path.

I'll tell you that I don't like some of those kind of games because they use some cheezy tactics to get you to play. I also don't like running out of moves or stuff to do for the day, or the next few hours or whatever. I like to just do what I want, when I want, period.

I have a friend that is one of those 20 million people that likes Farmville. Now, we do live in the country and all that, but besides not wanting to play a game about farming, I don't like games that force you to bug other people. I asked her why she played the game so much, and her response was that she would lose all of her hard work on her crops if she didn't harvest in 3 hours or something silly. I was completely beside myself with disgust! How could they do that to someone's stuff? Well, I am not going to play that game to find out, but I think that sort of tactic sucks. She didn't mention anything else about the game, like "because it's fun" or something, she was just afraid to lose all of her hard work. Clicking on 300 or more squares to plant veggies... What a waste!

I don't want to send out 100 direct email spam messages to people about my game, and try to get them to play. I don't want to play a game that makes you log in every few hours to make sure your virtual goods are still safe and not losing money. I am not saying all of those games do that, but many of them like Farmville do, and it thrives on people being scared of losing virtual stuff.

One could argue that WoW does the same thing with "Cool Downs". You have a cool down that you can use every day or three, but if you don't use it, then you could miss out on some money. Well, you could, but when you get back, you can still get that money, and nothing is really lost. You don't lose your crops, have to rebuild the empire, or lose your dog.

It is similar to the way some casinos in Colorado try to get people to come play by offering to match the amount you must spend, but only if you come play every week. If you miss a week, then you "lose" that money they are "giving" you. It's a trick works on a lot of people, but to me it seems that these types of tricks are not a good way to do business.

Most of the traditional MMO's allow you to just come and play whenever you want, everything is still the way you left it when you return, and typically, you don't need to feel like you've lost everything.

I think Lum's point in his article that Farmville and games like it are simply the next step in an evolution of games. The trick is for you Traditional MMO folks is that you need to make your games accessable in the same fashion as the Facebook guys.

World of Warcraft is already starting to do this with Facebook and they have a new Auctioneer app of some sort coming out. I think we will see more of an integration of the two rather then a replacement from one to the other. You can still have people buy your game and play as they see fit, and you can offer a lot of the content through things like Facebook and MySpace that will cover a huge number of the problems and concerns we see now.

I am looking forward to seeing how this topic unfolds, because I truly believe the most successful MMO will be the one that puts this marriage of Application, and Traditional together...

Oh, and make it accessable to Twitter, Bling, Yahoo Mail, and on the cell phone too. Mkay?

That's all I got.

Blizzard: Silent Watchers...

I was reading this post on Kill Ten Rats, and thought about it for a minute...

So, they were saying Blizz is tight lipped with talking to the public, news or rant sites like this one because of various speculations. I think it's more because we could or would likely find a way to make whatever they say turn into a controversy and possibly get them fired.

Tom Chilton, one of my now "WoW Rockstar" friends from Battle Vortex back in the day, when we did podcasts, doesn't even talk on the telephone or respond to emails with more then two lines of meaningless text. I wouldn't ever try to get someone in the industry in trouble, but I am sure that the company line is that if you think there is even a 1% possibility of something getting repeated to the public where Blizzard can find it, then don't do it.

I have talked with and interviewed many of the Executive people in the MMO Gaming industry, one of my favorites was Gordon Walton. Sometimes, we even had to sign an NDA or other confidentiality agreements to speak to or read what these folks had to say. I am sure that by now, Blizzard has a huge, well lined out confidentiality agreement that employees have to sign. I wouldn't be suprised if they don't have a "PR Coach" in his own office they have to visit once a week to be reminded of how they can be replaced in a moments notice if something slips out that shouldn't. Back in the day, talking too much got someone in trouble, and I think now days it's just better that they shut up and make lots of money. It would be nice if they would fix their games, too, but one can't be overly concerned about that. Most of the games have actual community people, and those people know how to deal with the player issues more efficiently and less static gets through to the developers.

In any event, I think that even if they don't speak, that doesn't mean they don't watch and see what is going on out there. Mostly it is probably talked about at the water coolers, and made fun of at the large gaming expos. I really believe they are not just locked in a room coding all day, more like a cubical, but I do believe they see us out here, and they do listen.

If they would listen to me more, they wouldn't have all these problems, but that is another story...

That's all I got.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Up Up And Away, Team...

So, we are Lt. G9 or so, and I have been a lot less angry playing on the Federation side. I can go wherever I want and I seem to have no problems finding quests other then PvP.

I am currently floating about the Remulos sector of space, finding missions, scanning for stuff that I have no clue what to do with, and finding out just how stupid my away team is.

First thing, is that if World of Warcraft would give you an "Away Team" to come and do Heroics with you, I would throw STO in the trash right now. Since that's not going to happen lets go to Fear's story of the week.

I think the away team idea is totally too cool, but while traveling to strange new worlds, I found myself wanting to slap the Bajoran out of my away team. I spent some time the other night making sure that everyone had Mk II or Mark Two gear and weapons so I was not going to get killed as easily anymore. I found that if I could give them an Mk II brain, it might have helped even more.

My biggest problem is when they get stuck trying to find me, or the occasional, wander off on their own for long periods of time. My first officer, Ryu is a total nut case when it comes to staying in the ranks. I find myself wondering "where the hell is this guy?", and looking at his distance from the group. Ryu is always far, far away, doing what I can't imagine. If Ryu was William Riker, I would assume he is just getting a little lovin' from the local females, but Ryu is a dorky looking guy with not much chance of love.

I was on a mission where I had lost one of my away team in a huge exchange of friendly phaser fire, and when I found her body, I wasn't sure how to get her back into action. I used the "P" Powers Key, to see if there was yet another hidden power I had to bring someone to life. I did have something called CPR or similar and I pushed that sucker. It worked. It was my Medic that had fallen, so I guess the game expected the captian to take charge of bringing the away team back to life. When she is alive and well, I am pretty sure she handles all of the healing and reviving duties without my help.

I like the fact that I can sort of tell them what to do as far as targeting and stuff like that, but mostly I just let them go wild. The healer heals, and the rest all shoot the guns and pop their special attacks when needed. Not much in the way of dissapoinment there.

My biggest issue was in a mission where they had fire on the ground in places. Well, you guessed it. Old Ryu and my Medic were the first two to go down. Not once, but three times they ran into a fire and were killed. I was getting very angry, but I found a solution. There were fire extinguishers hanging around that I could grab and equip to put out the fires! WooT! Well, now I just had to make sure I got there first before Ryu and Spin jumped in them. Well, needless to say, we made it through that tragedy, but I am seriously thinking I need to trade some officers in.

My Trill science officer seems to be the smartest, always right there with me, never misses a beat, and has a lot of tricks she uses to get things done. I haven't really done much else with them except make sure they all have stuff, and I equip them with food or hypos so they can live longer. I am pretty sure they just waste the stuff though.

Anyway, I like the away team concept. I just want to get them a little more under control and that may happen as we progress in ranks and levels.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Princess said "Don't Play Klingon. Problem Solved."

Ranting to my girlfriend about STO, I went into my story about how my Kingon character was difficult to play because of all the issues I had and my girlfriend, aka Princess simply said, "Don't play Klingon. Problem Solved." There was a sort of divine truth in that response. It makes sense, but in a strange, "why didn't I think of that?" kind of way.

Anyway, I went back to the Federation side and I have been running more quests. I have noticed my attitude is a bit different today. The only thing I am grouchy about today is that the missions take a long time when they have you doing the "campaign style", space, ground, and chase the bad guys. I mean, it's nice to have a bit of a story, but it was like 2 hours to do this one mission, and I was wore out.

I think I hit Lt. Grade 8 last night, and I am anxious to see what the Tier 2 ships look like. I know there is a place that shows you, but I like to discover on my own sometimes. I need to re-do my main character a little bit. He looks too much like Anthony Castoro for my liking.. I guess I should get the two pics and show you what I mean. hehe Don't get me wrong, Anthony is a great guy, I just don't like watching him on my screen all day.

Okay, speaking of Anthony, I just realized he has a new Facebook App out called Platinum Life... I guess all the old schoolers are going Apps. I installed this, but the first thing I noticed is there weren't any white DJ's??? What the hell Anthony? Eminem would be sad...

Anyway, thanks to Princess for the heads up, and I'll see you all in STO. Woot!

Monday, March 8, 2010

So, Ummm, Yea. I am basically correct. Star Trek Online Is Teh Suck.

Many things that I have been bitching about the last couple of updates have been answered somewhat in this Q&A with the Star Trek Online Devs...

Here is one of the finer points.

"MisterMiracle: The biggest drawback right now to Klingon faction play is a near total lack of immersion. This is in part related to the limited customization options, and in part due to the lack of a strong (or really any) overarching storyline for your Klingon character. The repetitive PVP queuing produces a character more like the protagonist of a shooter than a fully realized RPG. What plans do you have to give players a greater sense of immersion while playing Klingon faction?

Ship customization will start to come out in the next update. More ship and character customization will follow shortly after that. There is also a new tier 2 battle cruiser set for release in the next update. Due to the community’s demand, we are also releasing more PvE content - fleet actions, Special Tasks Forces, Star Clusters and, down the road, unique episodes. Eventually you will be able to play a Klingon character to General with PvE alone."

So basically they know this is a major issue, and are almost working on it. Total lack of just about everything is the real problem. Why are these guys even in there? You can play an Orion HOE, now shut up you sniveling Klingon bastards! PvE content with quests would be really nice, but offer a new battle cruiser after I got that stupid Raptor?? Someone has to die!

On the up-side, I have seen some really huge Klingon vessels flying around and I am totally jealous. I mean, I though my ship was farily big, but they got some seriously huge machines out there. I guess I have little man syndrome or something. I just don't like it. Hey when can we leave fricken Klingon Space? That's what I want to know.

That's all I got...

Still Trekin' It... And Hatin' It... With Passion!

Even though I am still confused about a great many things, I have decided to give this one a try for awhile and see if there is anything I am missing.

I am Lt. Commander Grade 1 on the Klingon side, and still Lt. Grade 8 or so on the Federation side. You can tell which one I play more I suppose. I am not sure why though, the Klingon's are stuck in these two zones and can't do anything except for PvP, but somehow I find that darn cloaking just too much fun. I imagine they will let me out someday, but I am annoyed that I have to stay in a limited area.

It is so obvious that they really just kind of threw the whole Klingon thing in there to give us someone to fight with, but if you plan to do any exploring or gathering or questing, you better keep that Federation ship up-to-date. Everywhere I try to go with my Klingon ship tells me I am not cleared for Federation space. I may be missing something, but I have tried to warp out at every exit, and just get the same response.

There are not as many rewards out there that drop like there are on the Federation side that I can find. My Federation guys are full of items I don't need, but my Klingon inventory has always been empty. I can't figure out what the heck you are supposed to do except fight, and that takes alot of time, and pisses me off. Bottom line is that the game is horribly unfinished, and really not even finished enough to be worthwhile. If you want to feel like you got to the theatre and in the middle of the movie, the action just stops, and repeats over and over, then you have found your game.

I got a new ship when I hit Lt. Commander. I think it is called a Raptor. Lots of guns, and comes without consoles, so I just stole the ones off my other ship. Great fighting machine, but you always have to be facing forward which kind of sucks. My Fed ship has some serious arc weapons and I can fire in any direction I choose. I just don't have enough money to do much of anything right now except PvP or I have still been finding quests on the Fed side to do. Some of them are sort of long and I sometimes just want to abort the mission and do something else.

STO went with the "badge" system for getting items, and again, I am less then pleased. They also change the badges for each rank, so if you have leftovers you have to eat them or convert them, but I haven't found a place to convert the Lt. badges to Lt. Commander badges.

Anyways, they are down for maint, so I thought I would drop in and say hello! Maybe some day someone will say hello back. lol

That's all I got...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Star Trek Engaged Captian!

I installed and have been playing a bit of Star Trek Online. Here's a few thoughts for you guys. I am just going to touch on things briefly, because I am not ready to hammer this game just yet.

It's not what you think! I was somewhat disapointed with how the game laid out. It is very similar in my mind to a watered down shooter coupled with a space game from the 80's.

Not to say it's not playable, but the curent state has me wondering how the hell these guys got this thing out the door. Its very limited right now, and some of the things I think should have already been implemented are not there.

For example, one thing that bothers me is that absolutely everyone talks to you on the communicator screen. Normally, wouldn't bother me, but in Star Trek, when the bad guys talk to you, they are on the "big screen" in some menacing fashon that makes you either get scared or want to kick some ass. I think they need to spend a little more time on the dramatic effects of encountering an enemy.

The second is that you don't really get to walk around the ship. You can go to the bridge and look around, but there is no real interaction with the crew or anything. It's just like having a room to waste time in for a bit if you want. It is very important to have the crew and other people interacting inside the ship. Especially on the federation side of the fence. You should be able to do things on the ship and interact with other people or crew there.

I am only a Grade 7 lieutenant and I am sure I haven't seen too much of the big picture, but the game is sort of laid out in a fashion that they introduce you to the game, give you several ground and space quests, and then thrust you into PvP. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of higher level questing other then several dailies that are somewhat boring because it takes a long time.

The battleground system is very similar to WoW, but there are some problems with the que system. Often we find ourselves in a battle we can not win or the other team just leaves and you sit there waiting for more people to show up that never do. They also need to offer us a random battleground and reward us for doing things we don't want rather then making us wait in the que forever.

Once you get to a specific part of space exploration, then you can play the Klingon side. Now this is the side I had the most problems with. One thing that I was okay with is that you basically have to fight a couple of people real fast and boom, you are a class 5 lieutenant on the Klingon side. The part I didn't like is you are basically thrust into PvP at that point and there is no real questing going on like there was for the Federation.

Some of my major bitches with the Klingon side is that the cursor represents the "Federation" insignia or logo. It looks like the "A" on Federation uniforms. When playing the Klingon side, the cursor should be that factions insignia. I know it has a name, but I can't remember it at the moment.

The next thing is the voice-overs for discovering new sectors and congratulating you should not be Nimoy on the Klingon side. When we are Klingon, we do not want to hear from some Vulcan about our progress. Get that crazy Klingon lady team from the Next Generation and put their voices on there.

Most MMO's give you the same progression for both sides. Different quests, but same basic principal. STO just skipped all that and send you right where they want you to be, and that's in the PvP arenas.

Not that I am against that, but there should be a whole lot more options for either side. They say it is possible to get to Admiral strictly doing PvP, and I am sure that this was their only real path they wanted you to take in the first place. There is no other path except for gathering, and we know there isn't a huge number of people out there willing to fly around on grids just to collect stuff right?

The combat is not all that compelling, especially in space. The graphics are nice, and the cloaking on the Klingon side is just too cool, but the battles are just a gank fest. It is almost impossible to kill someone one-on-one. So, everything is a zerg. The ground combat is mostly the same, but they want you to get behind your opponent to deal flanking damage. It just makes me think of a room full of Rogues from WoW engaging you in PvP.

My suggestion is that if you haven't purchased this game yet, then don't. It's not ready. Wait for a year or two like I did with WoW, then I think they will have what Star Trek Online needs to be a successful IP.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

3.3.3 Looking Good, But I Am Still Going To Install STO!

Some of the patch notes for 3.3.3 include but not limited to:

Dungeons & Raids
Culling of Stratholme
Players may now skip the initial introduction dialog to this dungeon once they have completed it at least once.

All I can say is about damn time!

Glacial Bag: Creating this item now invokes a 7-day cooldown.
The cooldown and location requirements have been removed from creating Moonshroud, Spellweave and Ebonweave.

Oh, man, that one is a blessing. They did not mention if they will still have the cooldowns for the Outland cloth in effect. However, tailoring is probably one of the least popular anymore because of the fact it is stupid that you have to fly to three different locations every 4 days to make anything useful. And since we can only make around level 200 items, at least that's all I can make at 440 skill level, you are stuck in a non money making profession.

The downside is that the cloth will now become less valuable and we will actually have to make something and hope it sells.

They still need to look at the cooldown for transmuting with Alchemy. It is pointless to transmute anything except for pre-cut gems. Why would I transmute anything else when I will lose that valuable 200G a day for clicking one button? I don't know, but when people say they want to buy my transmute cooldown for mats and a tip, I simply laugh and move on.

They are going to do some Auction House changes that seem pretty good. I am not a huge auctioneer, so I will just wait and see how that all pans out.

Finally, YES! I am installing Star Trek Online right now. Ever since the new movie came out, I have had a "Trek Rebirth" if you will and I have got to see how this game rolls.

I did say goodbye to AION for now. I'll come back when they take some of the grind out, and replace with FUN.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Richard Garriott Is Back! Not From Space Silly, GAMES!

Here we go again... This time, and seems to be the trend with the old school developers out there. If you can't make your own market, hit the one we know is already the biggest, The Internet.

I am really not a fan of the current incarnation of browser based games. Especially the ones that run on Facebook and MySpace. It encourages you to bother other people too much, and without the proper controls set, basically spams people with too much unwanted information about what you are doing. The gameplay is limited, and of course many of them force you to do things at a specific time or lose valuable virtual content. I am not really down with that.

Richard is looking towards doing a more robust engine and allow folks to make better games. Well, I wish him the best of luck. I will be sure and give em a try when they make something that I like.

That's all I got.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Love Is In The Air? Not On My Watch...

I know that the seasonal quests and achievements can sometimes be fun, but the ones around Valentine's Day have got to be the most annoying. Two hundred or more hearts dancing around the streets is just a bit much. People spraying me with stuff and shooting me with arrows every two seconds. The quest for the charms is always jacked up, and I haven't even done the "Tough Love" yet which I think is the big loot drop quest. I don't seem to mind the events where they are just outside of town, but since I hang mostly in SW, this holiday event seemed to get on my nerves more then any other. The have some really skimpy dresses however.

Personally, I can't wait for this holiday event to be over...

The Reason Is Clear...

Tobold wants to know why we don't complain when Blizzard messes up and screws the pooch on a patch? Why don't we just leave and never return?

Plain and simple, it's because AION pisses me off more.

I was ready to quit AION last week because I am stuck at level 13. I keep dying and I lost all my money to buy my experience back, and I was generally in a bad mood.

I was very upset with Blizzard this week, and the lag issue is still not corrected. Do we need another 12 hour maint time to get this stuff straight? Hey, if your servers are old, replace them. Stick with coding that is tried and true. I don't like the Tuesday downtime as it is, but if you can't get it together then shame on you.

Something needs to be corrected and I am thinking now would be good. I know Blizzard doesn't mean to be the bad guys here, but this bad patch stuff needs to come to a hault. Seriously, many of us invest a ton of money into this software and it needs to work correctly.

Like I said, if it weren't for AION being the slowest grind on the planet, I would have left myself.

I'll be back after I get back on my normal medication... ;)

That's all I got.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What Goes Up, Must Come Down... EMERGENCY SHUTDOWN!

OH NOES!!! You want to see a couple of million people cry like babies?

Well, just make them wait all morning for their server to go back online, and then take it back down within 10 minutes. Works every time!

Apparently Blizzard has not figured out how to launch a patch without some major catastrophe. What will the future hold for the MMOG industry and patching? Not much has changed since EverQuest on that issue.

Myd wanted to say hi!

That's all I got...

What A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts...

Tobold is on the loose again wondering why is it so easy to get good gear? My question would be is, why was it so hard in the first place?

It's all about perspective, and there are better pieces of gear out there for people that choose to get them that are NOT as easy to obtain. Tobold, and don't get me wrong, I really like the guy, but he is mostly focused on "instances". Running instances for badges and how long it takes the "Power Gamers" to get them. Trust me Tobold, those folks are still a minority, but I do notice that there appears to be more of them running around now days. The way I look at it is that if they are doing a huge amount of damage, and you don't have to work too hard, then roll with it.

The game is not centered around challenge in the form of hard-to-kill monsters in every place you go. It can be if the people you go with are not all that good... The challenge is building your character how you want them and then moving on to something else like PvP, huge 25 man raids, just hanging out and socializing or whatever. Instances are simply a stepping stone to get to the next level. Who cares if they are overpowered? Blizzard never stopped a level 80 from entering the Stockades to help out a level 15 friend, so why should they stop overgeared 80's from doing runs they are more then capable of doing?

For those of us on the "less then geared" platform, this means we can get geared faster. Believe me, with the que times for getting a group going up, I am all in favor of doing the quickest runs possible once I get in there. I don't think I should have to spend extra time and effort just because someone might be getting burned out sooner. The faster we go, the more time I have to do other things I like to do.

Most of Tobold's fans are obviously raiders or interested in raiding, gathering, and making money. Not everyone sees things quite so black and white when it comes to risk vs reward. I personally like having a bit a risk vs reward, but without interaction or the possiblilty of getting killed by something besides a computer generated toon, I don't think we are going to see anything that compelling any time soon.

I don't remember where, but one of the Blizzard staff had mentioned in an interview or something that one of the goals now days is accessibility. Well, to me that means they are looking into ways to deliver more content to more people. As you know, without Dungeon Finder, there were tons and tons of people like me out there that would never have had the opportunity to learn and experience these instances. Granted, the immersion factor of the Dungeon Finder does become detracted by the ease of entry and exit, and the speed in which we run the instances, but it is something I can live with.

Its all about the game you are trying to play. World Of Warcraft has a huge amount of areas yet to explore in getting people connected and doing things on their own. If the players have a way to run their own events, and a place to hang out with easy access to have others come play with them, then I believe this would help extend the end game for many people for a very long time.

Give us more things "we" can create, and more things "we" can do on our own without relying on Blizzards content, and "we" will do just that. It is possible to create your own fun given the right tools. Just ask anyone that ever played Ultima Online...

I also wanted to mention the latest post from the Pink Pigtail... Apparently we have earhquakes going on now. Most likely to do with the next expansion. What makes me sad is that Blizzard knows the game has shifted from one form to another, but why would they take away the weather? If the majority of players are casual, that fine, but why not leave things in the game for those of us that really enjoy them. I am not saying we should have constant weather all of the time, but a storm of any kind every now and then would definitely wake some people up out there. Just a thought, put the weather back! Good post by the Pink one!

And on that note, I leave you with my latest picture of Myd and her new buddie, the "Perky Pug"... This is what you get when you Pug with more then 100 different people using the Dungeon Finder.

The funny part is, that I used to have a Pug, and this guy acts almost identical to the real thing. I love the pulling with the front legs to scratch the hiney manuever. Classic!

That's all I got... Laters!