Monthly Archives: July 2012

Upcoming games to look out for

It’s been a while since the last one of these posts, and a few games that were included in my last post have since been released, but it’s time for another. There are a few games on the horizon that are looking pretty tasty, and whilst the majority of my gaming time will be spent in relatively few games (I’m looking at you GW2, MoP and Civ V), there is always time to squeeze in a few more.

Here are the games I’m looking forward to:

Guild Wars 2

I am hoping GW2 can become one of, if not the, staple of my MMO consumption.  From the two beta weekends I have participated in, it looks promising.  I really enjoyed the Char and their starting area, and combined with the novel approach to skills and questing there is a lot of potential.  The end game (or lack thereof) is an issue in the minds of many, but ArenaNet are aiming for a differenent kind of end game with GW2, so time will tell whether it is a success or not.

Releasing on 28 August 2012, this is one to get excited about!

Firefall

I have mentioned Firefall before.  Made by ex-Blizzard employees, Firefall is a  free-to-play 3rd person, cell shaded sci-fi shooter MMO.  The gameplay and cinematic trailers look great, making this a very exciting prospect.  The team has worked hard to develop a whole new IP around this game which looks intriguing.  There is an offical Firefall Manga out now and whilst we don’t yet have a firm release date, there have been murmurs it will be out sometime towards the end of 2012.  Fingers crossed.

Borderlands 2

For those of you who played the first Borderlands, the excitement around its sequel will be nothing new.  The first Borderlands was excellent.  If you think of it as a first person shooter version of Diablo set in a science fiction universe, you will be pretty close.  Although the main story left a little to be desired, Gearbox is looking to correct that with the sequel.  With new classes, new story but the same addictive gameplay Borderlands 2 is sure to be as good as the first, if not better.

An international release date of 21 September 2012 has been confirmed.

Dishonored

I am a big fan of Bethesda Softworks.  They have brought us such gaming gems as Skyrim and Fallout, and Dishonored is shaping up to add another to their list.  The trailer below looks like Crysis come Dues Ex set in a Steampunk world.  If that doesn’t sound appealing, well… I fell a little sorry for you to be honest.

Set for release on 12 October 2012, we don’t have long to wait.

Torchlight 2

Think of Torchlight 2 as an alternative to Diablo 3, but only costing $20.  The original was a pretty good game with one major flaw – no multiplayer.  Runic Games has corrected this in Torchlight 2, and the Action RPG is looking pretty good.  Fast paced and all about the loot, Torchlight 2 should help to fill some of the Diablo 3 shaped holes in people (me) that are currently vacant.  And did I mention it only costs $20?

Set for release in Q3 of 2012, putting it just around the corner.

Hawken

If you were a Mechwarrior fan back in the day, then there are a few upcoming games that may tickle your fancy. Hawken is one (MechWarrior Online is another).  Basically you ride around in big ‘Mechs’ and shoot all the things.  Awesome.  Developed by an Indie group called Adhesive Games, Hawken drew a lot of plaudits at the recent E3.

Due for release on 12 December 2012, this is one to keep an eye on.

So there’s my list for the moment.  There are plenty more good looking games due for release soon, but i’ll let you do the legwork there.  Do you have a favourite upcoming game, or one you are salivating over?  Let me know in the comments.

Till next time,

Voros

 

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Diablo 3 – Why I’m not playing anymore

So Diablo 3 (D3) has been out just short of three months now.  I don’t play it anymore.

I am disappointed about this fact; I was looking forward to spending many hours beating on mobs for their shiny, shiny loot.  However for me, the game just isn’t fun anymore.  Here’s a quick list of why:

  1. A lack of end game.

There is nothing.  I don’t count endlessly farming for loot (that is vendor trash 99% of the time as a viable end-game.  Nor do I consider it even remotely fun.  It wouldn’t be so bad if you saw some sort of reward from it – but let’s face it, that just isn’t the case.  Arena style PvP is coming in patch 1.1 but who knows how far away that is.  Even then that could be a complete disaster if not implement right.  If they allow in characters with their current gear ‘as-is’ it will simply result in under-geared players being pushed into the RMAH even more.

The endless dungeon idea that is being thrown around in the community (complete with leader boards) would be a welcome step in the right direction.  This would give players something to work on other than gear.

With Bashiok recently admitting that the gear search isn’t a viable end game, Blizzard obviously need to do something.  But that something is likely to come far too late.  By then I will more than likely be playing something like Guild Wars 2, or Borderlands 2, or Torchlight 2.

2.  The items.

There is a distinct lack of flavour to the items in D3.  When it boils down, the items are all just stat sticks.  Blizz recently decided to can these in WoW (think Hunter melee weps), so why did we see them in D3?  In D2 we had ability modifiers on weapons, and unique items with set stats so that you had something to search for.  Now we just get a list of +stats and +dmg.  And there is nothing worse than seeing an orange item drop only to find out it’s a PoS that nobody in their right mind would wear because the stat rolls were so stupidly awful that it negated the drop altogether…

Then we have the so called increase to drop rates in the last patch that it turns out is counted across all item quality types. So whilst Act1 Inferno may have a ‘4.8%’ chance of dropping iLvl63 items, these could be grey/white/blue/yellow.  Who wants a grey or white iLv63 item?  I don’t even pick the useless things up.

If there was a risk/reward or even time/reward system in place that was worth it, then this issue wouldn’t be so bad.  As it stands though, all it does it push you to the RMAH.  GG Blizz.

3.  The story.

I’m pretty forgiving with this kind of thing, but it’s not great.  It makes it even worse that you have to go through over and over and over again.  Why did they take out the freedom of doing whatever whenever across Acts mechanic?  Once I have completed it once, I shouldn’t have to go back and do it all again, at least 4 times….

4.  The Auction Houses.

I hate them.  They completely destroy any desire to go and farm for items, especially in combination with the atrocious drop rates and stat rolling.  When you feel forced to go to the AHs in order to progress, something is broken (or maybe working as intended?).  The fact that the gear needed to progress through a given Act (especially in Inferno) doesn’t drop until the Act following the one you are stuck on is just plain stupid.  What this results in is the need to farm, not for items (which wouldn’t be so bad provided they actually dropped) but for gold; gold with which to purchase gear on the AH.  Or you can go spend some real money on the RMAH.  I understand (or at least I think I do) why this was implemented.  It would have happened regardless, but at least by doing it themselves, Blizz can control it and take a cut, they are a business after all.  But for me, it ruins the game.

5.  The farming.

I hate farming.  I just can’t bring myself to do it.  Running the same content over and over to accumulate gold is just not fun.  I killed the Skeleton King in Act 1 Inferno 3 times maybe before getting bored.  I don’t want to do it 50 more times – but the game seems to want me to.  Either that or go spend some money on the RMAH.  I don’t expect to waltz through the game either but I would like to be able to do it without spending days of my life redoing the same content to get a small number upgrade on a piece of gear.  I want a challenge in the games I play, not a job.

6.  The melee/range imbalance.

I play melee, always have, and always will.  I love the visceral feeling of beating on something with a big stick.  What I hate is how most games cannot get the difficulty balance right between ranged and melee.  The majority of mechanics in the higher difficulty means you have to kite.  And kiting as melee sucks.  I play a Barb and to get anywhere in Inferno I have to stack +resist all.  However I never seem to get decent drops with this stat and I don’t want to rely on the AH so I tend to die.  I can’t stack enough dmg to burn through the elite packs that dish out high amounts of dmg so I have to try and tank them.  That doesn’t work unless you have the gear.  This means hours and hours of mainly fruitless item farming or spending currency of some sort on one of the AHs.  Not fun.

7.  The mob ability combinations.

Horde – Arcane – Nightmarish – Molten/Frozen/Jailor/etc

W. T. F.  Who allows this sort of combo (Especially on certain mob types, such as the wasps that always run away)?  As a melee it’s just plain stupid.  Reminds me of the old Immune to Magic – Immune to Physical combo you occasionally encountered in D2.  I know you can skip or reload but still, wouldn’t it better to just make sure some combos can’t appear?

8.  The difficulty modifier.

I prefer my difficulty based on mechanics, not gear checks.

9.  The social aspect failure.

They could should have done this so much better.  No custom chat channels, no ability to form ‘guild channels’, the general chat being the domain of gold farmers and little else, poor public game implementation, no social media integration.  I could go on but I think the point is made.

It’s not all bad though. I do like:

  1. The gameplay.

I like obliterating hordes of demons, it’s fun.

2.  The ‘feel’.

The game feels good.  Abilities feel like they hit hard, and in Hell and Inferno there is a challenge.  I like the art direction and the music; I just like how the game feels.

3.  The skill setup.

I’m not a big fan of having to reroll because you allocated your skill points wrong, so being able to play with them on the fly is great.  I know this is a negative for some, but I enjoy the freedom to make changes without being penalised (apart from the Neph stacks dropping which is really irritating).

The sad thing is, I really want this game to succeed, but in its current state, it’s not going to (as evidenced by the rapid decline in active players since release).

I hope Blizzard wakes up and makes the changes the game needs and the community is crying out for.  Else I, and many others, won’t be seen in Sanctuary until the first expansion drops.

Till next time,

V


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