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Friday, December 30, 2011

Back in the Republic

After a 10 day delay I am back in Star Wars: The Old Republic and happy for it. Started my Jedi Knight and looking forward to this game.

Although a very clean running game and for the most part without bugs I thought I'd share one I found not to far into the game. Master Satele appears to have shrunk from the last time I met her, but nor worries she was back to full size by the end of ouor conversation. I will say this tho I loved how I looked down to her and she looked up at me, almost like it was planned.  Oh well  the game can't be perfect can it?


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

World of Tanks French Tank Promo Video

New Look for Supremacy 1914

My favorite World War I browser game, Supremacy 1914 recently underwent a overhaul of its look and user interface. I have been trying it out for the past week and really like the changes. The new look is easier to follow and just has an overall cleaner layout. Also added in a recent patch was the new unit Armored car.

Its always a welcome sign when game makers work to improve their games and Bytro Labs does appear to follow this policy.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Behind the Pack

Two games I have been waiting for, Battlefield 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic, have been released and to date I have yet to get them. BF3 has been out since October and SWTOR was released on December 20th. Normally I would be crawling the walls in uncontrollable anguish by now, but have found that although the desire to play these games is still there, the actual act of getting them hasn't happened yet.

This delay can be attributed to several things and I know its just a matter of time before I make these purchases. I am presently spending my time playing World of Tanks and LOTRO as these games have consumed much of my available gaming time. Also I do believe spending 2 months playing SWTOR's Beta has lessened my immediate need to check the game out.

The problem I know I will face once I start playing these games is the fact that I will be very far behind my friends in the leveling process. In BF3 my enemies will be using the most advanced weapons to be unlocked while I will be stuggling along with my starter weapons. While in SWTOR many players (Probably some already have made it) will be sitting at the level cap as I am starting to get going.

I have never been overly concerned in the past of being behind the mark of leveling as I tend to play the game at my own pace, but the fact remains that I am now officially behind the curve and will be playing catch up to friends and enemies alike. Anyone else out there having the same problem as me? What has caused your delay?

WoT Holiday Special

World of Tanks is offering all tanks from Tier 2-5 at a discounted rate during this special offer. Also the very popular X5 first match is making an return. Here is the full announcement below:

You too can ring in the holiday cheer; cruising the battlefields in style this year. Take advantage of deals that will make buying a tank seem like a steal!
Starting at 3:30AM PST (6:30AM EST, 11:30 AM UTC) on December 21, 2011 and ending at 3:00AM PST (6:00AM EST, 11:00AM UTC) on December 27, 2011 all World of Tanks players will have access to the following discounts and bonuses.
  • 5x experience for the first victory each day on all of your tanks
  • 50% discount on all premium tanks tiers 2-5:
    • Matilda, Churchill, T-25, T-14,  Ram-II, Valentine, PzKpfw 38H735 (f) , PzKpfw S35 739 (f),  T-15 , PzKpfw B2 740 (f), T2 Light Tank, M22 Locust
  • 50% discount on all standard tanks tiers 2-5:
    • USSR
      • BT-2, T-26, BT-7, T-28, T-46, A-20, T-50, T-50-2, T-34, AT-1, SU-76, SU-85B, SU-85, KV, SU-18, SU-26, SU-5, SU-8
    • Germany
      • PzKpfw 35 (t), PzKpfw II, PzKpfw 38 (t), PzKpfw III Ausf. A, PzKpfw II Luchs, VK 1602 Leopard, PzKpfw 38 nA, VK 2801, PzKpfw III, PzKpfw IV, PzKpfw III/IV, Panzerjäger I, Marder II, Hetzer, StuG III, Sturmpanzer I Bison, Sturmpanzer II, Wespe, Grille, Hummel
    • USA
      • M2 Light Tank, M3 Stuart, M5 Stuart, M24 Chaffee, T2 Medium Tank, M2 Medium Tank, M3 Lee, M4 Sherman, M7, T1 heavy, T18, T82, T40, M10 Wolverine, T57, M37, M7 Priest, M41
  • 50% discount on these gold-purchased features:
    • Increasing the size of your barracks
    • Tank Academy training
    • Tank Academy training for each tanker purchased along with a new tank
    • Crew retraining
Be sure to take advantage of these fantastic deals while they last! On December 27, 2011 at 4:00AM PST the special will end and prices will return to normal.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

First Look Screenshots of Patch 7.0

 Here are some shots of a few Camo looks and the cost for implementing them

New Map "Swamp"

Preliminary Patch notes 7.1

Patch 7.0 is still being deployed and already we have patch notes for 7.1. Many of the fixes in 7.1 were expected in 7.0 so the developers don't want to waste any time in getting things rolling. Many tanks will be receiving adjustments to their hit boxes and bugs on maps are being fixed. Oh and the french are coming. Check out the original post here or read the notes below.

Preliminary Patch Notes v.7.1

While 7.0 update is being released for US (at the moment) and EU (later this week) servers, we are launching public test of 7.1 update.

Due to technical reasons and the desire to speed up the release of this update, the public test will be available only for RU server this time (public test of 7.1 requires the support of 7.0 functionality which is not ready for EU and US yet).

World of Tanks v.7.0 - 7.1 test1 patch notes:

- Added basic French Tank Tree;
Introducing lights, mediums, and heavies, all in all 18 vehicles. No premiums for now.
Mind the following changes in comparison with Fench alpha tree:
Lorraine 40t moved to tier 8 medium, while Bat Chatillon 25 t - to tier 9 medium.
Amx-50 120mm was downshifted from tier 10 to tier 9 heavy, and AMX 50B (former AMX 65t) became the new French top heavy.
- Fixed bug with default ammunition resupply after the battle;
It's a v.7.0 bug, when system doesn't save your ammo choice and sometimes restores basic ammo selection.
- Fixed bug when it's impossible to close private channels;
Again v.7.0 bug.
- Fixed client-to-server asynchronization upon the vehicle's destruction by ramming;
Again v.7.0 bug.
- Added tank model (short) after the player's name in brackets for battle interface.
For all messages and notifications, eg chat messages, X destroyed by Y messages et. Eg chat message - Overlord (M46): Hello!
- Changed specifications for all automatic guns and vehicles using them.
Automatic and semiautomatic guns have been reworked into a new system with auto-loading (cartridge reloading) that is being introduced along with French tanks.
Some vehicle specs have also been changed. Detailed patch notes will be available upon the release to the main server.
- Fixed bugs with vehicle armouring: IS-3 (top front turret), IS-4 (side hull and 122mm BL-9 gun mantlet), T95 (side hull);
IS-3 and IS-4 are getting their 7.0 bugs fixed, eg the latter had his side armour decreased by 20mm. Restoring the correct values.
As for T95, applying the changes announced here:
- Fixed bugs in vehicle models: Object 212, Pz VI Tiger, T32, Grille, Pz II Luchs, VK3001P, Loewe;
Just visual stuff.
- ISU-152: 16 armour groups + spaced armor;
ISU is getting its new hitbox. Just as many vehicles in 7.0.
- Fixed the same gun models 7.5cm L/70 and 8.8cm L/56 for JagdPanther;
Visually the guns were the same. Now they are using 2 different models.
- Fixed camo bugs for VK4502A, Pz II.
- Reduced RoF for 8.8cm L/71 guns on JagdPanther and Ferdinand;
These changes were misssing in 7.0, where the long 88 got 220->240 damage adjustment.
- Fixed bugs on maps: Fjords, Marsh, Steppes, Malinovka;
A couple of map bugs got fixed.
- Fixed the red "Texture not found" square replacing clan logo when changing settings;
Introducing the display of clan logos. It hasn't been added in 7.0, since some rework was required.
- Added new options for colour-blind scheme;
Now it's possible to adjust the colour of reload progress-bar and a gun marker.
- Fixed bug with not displayed new invites when invite channel is open;
- Fixed invite channel blinking when there are no active invites;
- Fixed the absence of Commander's modifier in tooltip over a crew member;
- Fixed bugs in fire effects for destroyed tanks;
- Added the option to hide interface when playing the recorded battle ("V" key);
- Fixed bug when getting to pre-battle room for ready but un-distributed tank company players;
- Fixed a system message while receiving/redeeming vehicle that is already in garage;
- Fixed garage freezing when entering the game with "Enter" button pressed.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

World of Tanks Patch 7.0 rolling out Tomorrow

The long anticipated patch 7.0 has been announced to be released by tomorrow with some much anticipated features. Here is the original post released.

World of Tanks informs tankers that maintenance will be held on the game server starting from 21:00 PST, December 13th, until approx. 10:00 PST, December 14th, due to the release of update v.7.0. The World of Tanks game server and all related services will be unavailable during the period of time stated above. Please abstain from any payments during the period of time stated above!

Starting from 11:00 PST, December 13th, maintenance will be carried on Clan Wars server due to the release of update 7.0. The estimated downtime for Clan Wars comprises two days and they are expected to be back at approximately 11:00 PST, December 15th.

All users having premium accounts during the start of the maintenance will have their premiums compensated for a day since 21:00 PST, December 13th.

Main changes to be implemented with the update v.7.0:
- Implemented several game clusters (multicluster technology).
- Added the camouflage feature. Camo purchase and its mounting are available in the game section ‘Appearance’.
- Added levels of tank companies varied by tier: up to tier 4, up to tier 6, up to tier 8 and up to tier 10 (including tier 10). Implemented tier limits for SPGs, LTs, and TDs in up to tier 4, up to tier 6 and up to tier 8 battles.
- Added the complaint system. You can choose the complaint type while in battle by right-clicking on the player's nickname shown in the pop-up context menu.
- Added a test system for recording and replaying battles. A ‘Record battle to replay’ setting saves battle videos in ‘Replays’ folder.

The new content to be implemented with the update:
- Added new maps – Marsh and Fjords.
- Fixed multiple bugs in tank models.
- Fixed multiple bugs, blockings and jam-ups on the majority of maps.
- Added animated birds on several maps.

I don't know about you guys but I am really looking forward to those birds...Seriously tho the camouflage system, video recording and new maps have got me excited. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

World of Tanks Operation Winter Assault Special

New special announced today for WoT. Big one here is the 50 Percent off on Equipment. So if you ever wanted to buy a Camo Net, Crew Ventilation, Gun Laying Drive or Rammer this is the best opportunity. Here is the full announcement: 

Winter always comes when you least expect it. Cold winds bring over heavy grey clouds stealing the sun and day light. And man, it is cold! Even the hottest blooded tankers get chills, gasoline cools down to a point of condensation, engine oil becomes viscid, tracks are blocked with ice, and a gun barrel grows an icicle.
Staying put and idle in this situation will lead to a certain death. Not only will you risk getting shot by a stray shell, but, most definitely, you will turn into a snow-clad tank hill. The only way out is to move fast and move at all times.
No surprises that some of the major World War II action happened in freezing cold conditions: the Winter War between Finland and USSR, the Battle of Stalingrad, and the Battle of Bulge.
Rally your troops, for we declare the start of the Operation Winter Assault Special. No staying behind defense lines, no hiding in ditches – charging forward is the only goal.
Starting at 11:30 UTC on Sunday (3:30AM PST, 6:30AM EST), December 4th and lasting until 11:00 UTC on Monday, December 12th (3:00AM PST, 6:00AM EST), stock up on gear and ammo for superior fire power:
  • Up to 58% discount on premium shells
  • 60% discount on premium consumables (new price during the special - 20 gоld)
  • 50% discount on equipment
  • 50% discount on garage slot purchases

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

SWTOR Beta Initial Impressions

As I have previously mentioned I have been in the Star Wars: The Old Republic Beta for almost two months now and over that time have developed quite a few opinions on the game. Unfortunately because of the NDA imposed upon game testers I have been unable to share my feelings and testing experience with you. Well the NDA has been lifted and I am now free to share my insights into this game. Be warned the following post and any with a similar heading may contain spoilers or information about the game you might not care to know about.

This post is intended to give a very informal over view of my time playing SWTOR to date and I have no intention of going into great detail about any one area of the game. However I will be posting individual posts on certain subjects in the near future and will continue to add posts as they come to me.

What I have Done

I have played two of the classes so far including a Jedi Knights (Level 28) and Bounty Hunter (Level 8). I have played on Tython (Jedi), Coruscant (Alliance) and Hutta (Bounty Hunter). I have participated in solo and group questing, PVP Warzones Huttball and Voidstar.

What I Haven't Done

For the most part I have stayed away from Flash Points (Raiding), crafting and space combat as I didn't want to experience everything the game had to offer in the Beta.

What I Liked

Questing - I never thought I would care about quest missions again, but the added story and cut scenes added enough flare to the standard questing to give it a new life. Although the Questing is as you would expect them to be, Kill 10 of this or that, Find this or that, the way SWTOR delivers them is so much better than other MMORPGs.

 Warzones - I have always enjoyed PVP and I feel that BioWare has done a good job with the Warzones. Although nothing is spectacularly different,  the combat, pace and general feel of the Warzones is well done.

Combat Animations - Attack moves in SWTOR are not the "Stand and hack" variety, but instead are a combination of detail and special effects. Spinning in the air and slicing your opponent with the light saber is so much better than what I have seen from past games. Once again they aren't anything ground breaking, but well done and polished.

Character Progression - Once you reach level 10 you are able to choose a specialization. Although hard to figure out at first, choosing a talent tree was  enjoyable and allows for some degree of difference in builds.

Mixed Bag

Graphics - Although the game looks good and is clean and well rendered, I am not a big fan of the Cartoon Look. Some backgrounds (Coruscant mostly) appear unrealistic and painted. Characters look good, but nothing special. Armor and weapons look good and improve as you gain levels.

Player Creation - You have some control over how your character looks, but I think I was expecting a little more variety in the choices. Other games have been able to give you many choices and I see no reason why this feature could not have been included.

Companions - I like the idea of having a side kick with me, but they can be hard to control sometimes and can get lost when you are moving about. (I.E. companion misses the elevator you just took and either never comes back or takes the long way around. I do like the way you can use your companions to do the menial tasks like selling vendor trash for you.

Map - I like the way the map can be left up and fades as you move and for the most part objectives and markers are well noted, but in some cases it can be hard to read and follow. Sometimes it is hard to determine where quests are because they are in another part of the map not immediately visible or displayed. It took me a little bit of time to figure out exactly how to read everything as it was displayed and I found the included magnifying glass a little lacking.

Light Side/Dark Side - Surprisingly I often found myself caring what choice I made when answering dialogue questions that had a Light/Dark choice to be made. While playing the Jedi Knight, I didn't want to choose a Dark answer as I felt it would hurt the character I was making. However I still think they have missed the mark in truly implementing a system like this and wished they had made the choices more meaningful. 
  What I Didn't Like

Linear maps and questing - As I have stated before on this blog in the past, I am not a fan of Linear quest tracks. I understand the game is built upon a heavy story structure, which lends the game to be more linear than sandbox, but I don't like the way some areas feel compartmentalized (Coruscant). I am hoping future planets that I haven't visited yet will be more open and less scripted in where to go.

Levels 1-10 - Although the story is engaging during your introduction levels of the game, your character doesn't truly become interesting until after level 10. They were bland and uninspiring as I leveled them up in the starting zones.   

Enemy AI - The standard enemies you face in SWTOR are static drops in the world and don't show a high level of intelligence. Most of the mobs you meet will be standing around in pods of 3-5 and wait for you to attack unless you get into their agro range. After a while you can pretty much guess what they will do once you attack them. This is a problem many games are facing and BioWare failed to make a difference here.

Well that's it for now, I know I have missed some other topics I wanted to bring up, but I will include them in future posts as they come to mind. Overall I must say that I am truly enjoying this game and even though it doesn't do anything ground breaking I am finding the game to be fun to play and worth the monetary and time investment when it comes out.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

World of Tanks patch 7.0 notes

World of Tanks v.0.6.7 - 0.7.0 patch notes:

Main changes:
- Added system for working with multiple game servers (multi cluster technology).
An extremely important feature which is the heart of 7.0 update. It creates the basis for future merge of global map and server selection.
- Added camouflage system for all tanks.
Permanent camos - for gold, fixed period of time camos - for credits.
- Added tank horns. Default key for tank horns is “H”.
25 gold per horn. Test mode of horns, haven't decided on them so far.
- Added company tiers: up to tier 4, up to tier 6, up to tier 8, and up to tier 10. For tiers 4, 6, and 8 added special restrictions on SPGs
Special restrictions on LTs will be added in the next public test update. No worries.
- Added in-game report system. You can right-click the player’s name and report that player from the new context menu.

- Added new maps – Marsh and Fjords.
- Added new special premium tanks – SU-85I and Pz IV Hydraulic.
Both are temporary available in Store for testing purposes. They won't be purchasable after the release!
- Added tanks for "box" version: PzII J, BT-SV and MTLS-G14.
Both are temporary available in Store for testing purposes. They won't be purchasable after the release!
- Fixed a number of bugs in tank models.
Visual improvements.
- Fixed a number of bugs and stuck places on most of the maps.
- Some maps got animated birds added.
Also a key feature!
- Added display of clan emblems.

Reworked tank hitboxes:
- Germany: Pz VI Tiger, Pz 38(t), VK 3601(H), JagdPz IV, VK 3002 (DB), Pz III/IV, Pz 38H735(f), Pz S35 739(f), Pz B2 740(f), Pz 38 NA, E-100.
- USA: M4 Sherman, T29, T32, T30, T14, M5 Stuart, M7, M2 med, M4A2E4, Ram II.
- USSR: Т-34, KV, MS-1, А-20, SU-18, IS-3, Т-44, SU-85B, SU-14, Valentine LL, Matilda LL, KV-3, T-54, IS-7, KV-13, Object 704, А-32.
All hitboxes now feature 16 groups of armor and benefit from skirt armor (where it was used historically). The "ears" of E-100 and T29 have been adjusted to no damage armor type, hitboxes of E-75 and E-50 haven't been changed.

Gameplay and mechanics:
- The rate of getting team damage and team kill penalty points doubled.
Penalties will arrive twice faster now.
- Changed mechanics of determining minimal armour thickness for HE damage.
More accurate HE damage mechanics.
- Added display of enemy tracers in the narrow sector of player’s gun direction.
- Added display of tracers for SPG mode when the firing tank’s position is within SPG player’s view.
- Quitting the battle leaves the tank in battle. In case it was not destroyed during the battle, it is automatically destroyed when the battle ends.
- Fixed rare bug with unreasonable spotting.
- Fixed rare bug with reticle's horizontal jerking when switching to sniper mode.
- Fixed rare bug with reticle freezing in sniper mode when the vehicle is close to another object.
This one and the one above it were rare, but extremely annoying.
- Fixed rare bug with ubreasonable decrease of Pz IV traverse speed.
Shame on us!
- Fixed bug in Invader achievement description.
- Added separate type of shells for all German 8.8cm L/71 gun, damage set to 240.
Both KwK and PaK.
- Adjusted specifications for 7.5cm conic gun for VK3601H.
- Added 7.5cm conic gun for Tiger (available for both turrets).
- Т-44: added LB-1 gun for top turret, added V-54-6 engine with 680 hp.
T-44 used to be the worst tier 8 medium stat-wise, now it is supposed to overtake at least Type 59.
- Changed models and specifications for both IS-3 turrets.
- Slightly reduced normalization for AP and ACPR shells.
- Adjusted view ranges and ammo rack hit points for tier 7, 8, and 9 medium tanks.
- Adjusted specifications for all automatic guns.
- Credit prices for tier 2 and 3 tanks rounded down.

- Improved minimap functionality. Added scaling; turning on/off in battle; markers for commands “Help!”, “Follow me!”, “Attacking”; transparency option.
Solid improvements indeed, many were looking forward to them.
- Added tips for hangars functions. You can activate them pressing F1 in hangar.
- Improved display of tank markers. Added sorting by range.
- Added additional options for tank markers.
- Added colour-blind theme, available in options.
- Reworked players list on the map loading screen.
- Added goals of the battle on the map loading screen.
- Added new mode for players list during the battle. Added buttons for switching the modes.
- When selling the tank you get quick option to remove its equipment and crew.
- Added information about the clan in player’s UserInfo.
- Changed the design of death hint after tank’s destruction.
- Added indicator for equipment that affects visibility (camo net, binocular telescope) showing whether it provides bonus or not.
- Added auto removal of non-compatible consumables.
- Added sound notification when the gun is fully aimed.
- Changed sound notification when hitting and damaging tank modules.
- Added sound notification when ramming static object, while driving at speed more than 10 km/h.
- Added sound notification on base capture progress.
- Added auto blocking for spamming the same message or symbols in the game chat.
- Added option to assign game commands for the additional mouse buttons.
- Added warning window when selling a tank that can not be purchased in Store (e.g. special premium tank)
- Added notification on saving screenshot.
- Added notification when it's impossible to sell tank due to exceeding selling limit.
- Added notification when trying to resupply both credit and gold ammo and consumables having not enough gold on account.
- Removed Camera postion option.
- Added "Caps lock" indicator on login screen.
- Removed all achievements from personal crew profile barring "epic" and "hero of the battle".
- Fixed diplay of modified experience during specials (e.g. x5, x3).
Finally! No more empty brackets!
- Fixed the names of some American tanks.
- Fixed and imporved interface pop-up tips and dialogue windows.

- Improved overall game performance on several PC configurations.
- Improved special effects. Changed effects of shots, hits and explosions.
- Added advanced special effects options.
- Added improved support for Logitech keyboards, Alienware laptops.
- Fixed certain problems with game display for multiscreen configurations.
- Improved display and performance of dynamic shadows.
- Added new antialiasing mode - FXAA.
- Improved quality of voice chat.
- Added "vignette" post-effect.

World of Tanks Patch 7.0 Trailer

Here is the latest video highlighting some of the features to be released in patch 7.0 for World of Tanks. The big advancements detailed here are two new maps Marsh and Fjord, as well as the new camouflage models for tanks and the addition of Clan Emblems on the side of tanks. There is much more to this patch however and check out the latest patch notes in this post.

Friday, November 18, 2011

SWTOR NDA Lifted and Legacy Names

Finally BioWare has released the NDA that has held tight my lips and that of other beta testers of SWTOR. I have been playing the Beta for almost two months now and have a lot I would like to share on this game. I will be posting my reflections in future posts and will mark them as SWTOR Beta Post for those who might not want to read about them since I may and probably will divulge some spoiler information.

I did want to touch on the other big announcement to come out about SWTOR today and that is of the system of Legacy names. Here is the post by James Ohlen on the feature:

Hey Everyone,

This build has our first iteration of the Legacy System! At its core the Legacy system is about allowing players to create a family tree of characters. Family is pretty important to the Star Wars universe, with the Skywalker family having one of the most interesting dynamics in movie history. This version is just the foundational components that we will use to build upon in the future. Here are the features of this iteration:

  • Once your character has completed their Chapter 1 storyline, they will be able to choose a Legacy Last Name. This Legacy Last Name must be unique and is shared across all characters on that server - so choose carefully!
  • Once you have unlocked your Legacy, any and all characters on that server will now contribute to that player's Legacy Experience Points. Much like normal experience points, when you reach certain Legacy thresholds, you will increase your Legacy Level.

We already have plans for how we will expand the functionality of the Legacy System in one of our major post-ship patches. This will include being able to shape your Legacy's family tree, and give you a reward for all those Legacy Levels.

We look forward to reading your feedback on the Legacy System!


I have to say at first glance I really like this system as it is a interesting system of linking characters to an account and giving your characters more depth of meaning. Some will not like the concept of course, but I gotta admit this is at least different than anything else I have seen in an MMO. I will touch more on this subject in a later post, but until then I am interested to hear what some of you think about this. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ramming Speed

Overlord's newest poll is asking people if they like the Idea of receiving damage from friendly ramming. Not surprisingly the majority of players, 52% at the time of this posting, are against the concept. Anyone who has played World of Tanks for any length of time has had the unfortunate moment when a less than stellar tank driver has rammed into the side of their tank and consequentially exploded into a fire ball of death. The main problem here is finding the balance between a necessary game mechanic, ramming damage, and being the digital cops in finding who was at fault.

In the area where I live we have what is called a No-Fault law. In other words if a Law Enforcement person did not see the accident occur, then it is impossible to determine who was at fault in the accident. In a way WoT is not any different as it is near impossible to implement a system that can determine who, if anyone, caused the accident in the first place.

One might ask why it is we even have friendly collision damage in the first place? That can easily be answered by remembering the days of players treating their tanks as bumper cars and smashing into anyone they can find. Once the collision system went live, problems started to arise at the beginning of matches when tanks leaving the starting area looked more like a rush hour commute then a tank engagement. Damage was being dolled out on a massive scale and players were getting into arguing matches that would last the entire battle. The developers tweaked the system to disallow damage on low speed collisions and while this did help it doesn't do anything for those cases where two tanks are going at high speed. All it takes is that one time to receive a Team kill after some hapless moron rams you and dies before you are not a fan of the system.

So what is the answer to fixing this problem? Personally I don't believe there is one. How do you design a game mechanic that is both useful in preventing people from playing bumper cars and imposing penalties to the wrongful party when it is near impossible to determine fault? You could take speed into account and point of impact, but I wonder if that is even possible to do.

Since the poll only gives you three choices, my vote was for the "I don't like it" option, but I wish it was that simple. I like the game mechanic in a lot of ways, but don't believe that it is ultimately fair in determining fault. What about you guys? Do you like it or hate it? What can be done to make the system work better? 



Friday, November 11, 2011

Thank you Veterans

Just wanted to take a moment and give thanks to those who allow me to enjoy the better things life has to offer. Happy Veterans Day to all and a heart felt thank you to those that this day is marked for.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Diplomacy is Supreme Update 2

Well I never would have guessed it but if you have been following my posts about this particular game in Supremacy 1914 (If not you can here and here.), then you will be as much surprised as I am that not only am I still in it, but actually winning.

A daring double attack by Myself (Orange) and my partner Lithuania (Darker Green) against our adversaries capitals Ukraine (Grey) and Algeria (Light Green) Succeeded in allowing us a chance. A small attack force protected by a battleship from me sailed down the Atlantic and attacked Algeria's stronghold in Africa, while Lithuania used most of his forces to push across Ukraine's territory splitting him in two. It seems the blow was enough that neither has been able to recover.

Also during this time I have been marching south along the Americas strengthening by ability to produce materials and troops. If it wasn't for the coordinated strikes by Lithuania and Myself we would never have been able to survive our much larger and stronger opponents. I plan to keep on fighting and will let you guys know how this all ends.

SWTOR Imperial Agent Progression Video

The video highlighting the progression path for the Imperial Agent has been released and if you fancy yourself a gadget using sneak attacker than this class looks like your sort a fella.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

More Please

NO I haven't entered another dimension or slipped off into a dream trance. I am well into my initiation into The Inn League. In essence it requires you to run from town to town in the Shire and partake in the finest of beverages in each local. Add to that a time limit for completion and let the fun begin. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

One is a Lonely Number

So I bought a new home the other day. It’s not much to look at, but has a great view and a decent size lot. It sits atop a small hill with two trees and is overlooking a quaint little town with a pond, gazebo and waterfall. The inside is sparsely furnished with a bench, a bed, a couple rugs, a dresser and a chair or two. Warmth and relaxation can be found next to one of the fireplaces located each room and the soft, soothing sounds of gentle music that play through out the place. So it’s not much, but it’s mine, well as long as I pay the upkeep it’s mine. However as nice and peaceful this may sound, the house has one major draw back to it. When I am home I often find myself feeling quite lonely.

So after a long day of adventuring and assisting the citizens of Middle Earth with various problems, I was happy to come galloping down the road and see my home. Putting the horse up for the night, I went inside, started a fire and sat down on my chair. Well that’s it really nothing much to do and if not for the music playing in the background the deafening silence would have driven me mad. After several minutes of looking around and finding nothing to really do, I decided that maybe I should take this opportunity and take a walk around town. Just maybe I would stop in and meet some of my neighbors.

The walk was pleasant enough as the town itself is rather pretty and peaceful, but I quickly found out that all of my neighbors were either not home or had been evicted for failure to pay the upkeep on their houses. Undeterred I headed into the center of town were I met a musical Troupe playing next to a fountain (They weren’t very talkative as they were busy playing their instruments.), A couple of shop keeps and a random citizen or two. It didn’t take long for me to realize that they were not the biggest conversationalist and seemed actually surprised themselves to see another person.

So after a few moments of aimlessly meandering around town I headed back to my own house up on the hill. As I rounded the corner to the street I lived on, I glimpsed someone riding hard towards me. Frantically I tried to raise my hand and bellow forth a cheerful greeting to my newly met neighbor, but to my dismay they paid me little mind and road on past with a stern look of urgent and pressing business. I considered briefly of giving chase and making myself known, but quickly laid that thought aside as I didn’t want them to think of me as a crazy person this early in our new relationship. 

With a disappointing sigh I went back into my new home and sat down in front of the fireplace. I wondered if I should give it another go tomorrow, just maybe there will be more people out and about. Maybe I could hang out by the store; surely someone would come by sooner or later. Nah unfortunately I myself had pressing business myself tomorrow. You see there have been some recent reports of Orcs being spotted in the low-lands and I still hadn’t collected enough Warg tails for that lady at the Forsaken Inn. Nope, unfortunately it appears that tomorrow will be quite the busy day for me and I won’t get much of a chance to go about town. Such a shame really, this would be such a nice place to live if it wasn’t so damn lonely.   

Monday, October 24, 2011

In Case You Forgot - Battlefield 3 Releases Tomorrow

High flying jets and earth shaking tanks are available tomorrow in the much anticipated game Battlefield 3. I must say this game looks great and from what I have played in the Beta it is shaping up to be one of the best shooter/military simulators they have ever made.

Pre-order prices appear to be $60 on Origin, but if you don't like digital copies (raises hand) then it will be available in many retailers. See you on the battlefield.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Really??? LOL

Ok I cant decide which one of these videos is more comical. I still cant believe what I am seeing.

Thanks Blizzard for providing me a moment of pure entertainment. I want desperately to write something much more profound, but my mind just can't do it at the moment. From the creative minds that brought you the Lich King and Deathwing, we now present to you, Po the Kung Fu Panda. 

The average age of WoW players just decreased by about 10 years.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Value of a Games Graphics

Value of a Games Graphics
As technology advances our hobby of choice is looking better and better with each new title released. Companies are spending a lot of resources and time on crafting visually stunning and immersive worlds. Two games in particular that I am very much looking forward to Star Wars: The Old Republic and Battlefield 3 appear to be taking great care in designing the graphical boxes we play in, but the approach each is undergoing are quite different and present a completely different end result.

The Cartoon Look

It started with World of Warcraft and continues today in many games. The concept of throttled back graphics to make a game more accessible is not uncommon. Blizzard purposefully lowered the graphics on their game so that they could grab a larger audience and the game came out looking more like a cartoon than real life. SW:TOR appears to be headed in the exact same direction as the game has more of a look and feel one gets when watching the Cartoon Network than say living the real life of a Jedi Knight.

When looking at graphics we must also break it down to back drops and interactive pieces. A mountain side in the distance is not the same as a tree that a player runs past. Trees and other movable objects in games are often limited in the detail or interaction they are capable of. Often times these items are not very animated by developers for the same purpose of creating a less burdensome system.  So if developers are willing to lesson the graphical reality of their environments, the question begs to be asked. Just how important are graphics to the overall enjoyment of a game?

Realism vs. Playability

The Battlefield series of games, like most shooters, has always tried maintained a high level of graphical detail. Giving the player a feeling of realism is very important to a game in this genre, as they are often done in the first person setting. Battlefield 3 is stunningly beautiful and boasts some of the most interactive environments available in games. Each map in BF3 is completely destructible and looks as if it were real. Buildings can have holes blown out in them or they can be completely demolished. Other objects like trees, cars or fences are real looking and also completely manipulative. Watching a tank explode in a large ball of fire and flying shrapnel adds to a player’s enjoyment upon scoring the kill. If that same tank merely turned black and stopped working, the impact of the kill would be lessoned dramatically.

 Details like paint on the wall, grass growing in cracks and windows broken out add to the detail of the environment and enhance a persons feeling of realism. However with each addition to the graphical overlay the system required to run the game increases, thus shutting out some potential customers. Game developers are always attempting to find the right balance between realism and playability.

Value of Graphics

It would be improper to say a game with lesser graphics can not be successful or entertaining. Some people love Minecraft, a game with graphics that are sub-par to today’s standards. But for the majority of games, a well designed and graphically beautiful environment is very important if not essential for a games desirability and immersion. Some game developers have decided to give their customers a choice in which level of detail they want like in Lord of the Rings Online which now offers a choice between a high quality game client and a lesser toned down version.  

When we look at MMORPG games in particular, the look of the game world can be very important to the overall enjoyment of the game. When we spend large amounts of time in a virtual world we want it to be as inviting and enjoyable as possible and often the way a world looks can be very important to fulfilling this need. World of Warcraft was by no accounts breathtakingly beautiful, but what it was able to capture was players imaginations. If the game was released with lesser graphics, a player may not be as enraptured with it as they could be and may be turned off by the break in immersion they may suffer.

Pixilated Love Fest

Any way you look at it a games graphical appearance is often important to how much we enjoy the game. Some games are able to get away with less than stellar graphics, but they must provide a gaming experience that is both entertaining and has an element of game play that surpasses its graphical short comings.
For me a games quality of graphics can play a significant role in my ability to enjoy a game, but it is not always required. If a game is able to provide a fun and entertaining experience with out the need for high powered pixels than I am just as likely to try it out. Just don’t expect me to be wowed by a game trailer if it doesn’t look good.
 I am curious to hear what others think on the subject and see how they value a games graphics in their decision to both buy and play a game.  

Turbine Warns of Potental Account Hacking

Earlier this week there some buzz going around that the Lord of the Rings Forum account information had been hacked. The forums were indeed taken off line for some time and earlier today I received this email from Turbine.


Turbine is concerned that a third-party recently may have attempted to access forum account information. There is no indication at this time that your account was modified or compromised. For your protection we suggest you change the password to a unique, hard to guess password not associated with any other sites or services. If you changed your password after October 11th, then you can disregard this message.

To change your password, please follow these steps:
  1. Go to and click on "Forgot your password?" You may also click this in the game launcher.

  2. Follow the instructions on how to recover your password. A new password will be sent to this e-mail address.

  3. Once you have received the password reset e-mail, change your password. Please remember to use unique, hard-to guess passwords that are not associated with other online services or sites.
Turbine takes your account security seriously. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at You may submit a new inquiry to our Customer Service team, and they will be able to assist you further.

Thank you,

Turbine Support

Looks like it is time to change your passwords.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

WoT Battle of Moscow Special

The next special deal is coming for World of Tanks scheduled for October 14th to October 17th.. This time it is in rememberance of the battle of Moscow. Standard specials are to be had like 50 percent off on select tanks and increased credits for those tanks. Heres the complete list:

  • These tanks will be half price and earn double credits:
    • PzKpfw 38 nA
    • PzKpfw IV
    • PzKpfw VI Tiger (P)
    • VK 3001 (P)
    • T-28
    • KV
    • KV-3
    • IS
  • These premium tanks are also half off:
    • PzKpfw B2 740
    • Matilda
  • 5x XP for the first victory each day (on each of your tanks)
  • Enlarging barracks are half off (150 gold)
  • 100% crew training is half off (100 gold per member)
  • Retraining crew to 100% primary skill will be half off (100 gold)
  • Training a crew bought with a tanks to 100% also half off (100 gold)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Top 10 Battlefield 3 Beta Issues

If you have been gunning away on the BF3 Beta lately, theres a good chance you have run into some problems. EA has released fixes to the biggest problems people are facing. I have posted the top ten below or you can go the post here.

1. Squad issues: Cannot play with friends within same squad, squads get split up onto opposite teams, etc.
There will be improved squad functionality in the retail game (including but not limited to): the ability to create squads prior to launching into a game, sticking with your squad when joining a game and continuing together through future games (If team balance on the server allows it), inviting friends to a squad and changing squads once in game.

2. Regarding additional Open Beta content and fixes/patches for consoles, including PlayStation 3 issues with chat and party systemsWhile we would like to patch the Open Beta, DICE is currently focusing its available resources on polishing the retail game.

3. Will DICE have enough time to iron out everything by release? Please see General Manager Karl Magnus Troedsson's blog post regarding this question.

4. Can we have ability to change settings/options before deployment into match on PC? The ability to modify your settings via the deploy screen has been added into the retail game.

5. Issues with terrain stability and “falling into the map” on Operation MétroThis has been fixed for the beta via a server side update.

6. Kill cam sometimes zooms out too far or outside the map
This has been fixed for the launch of the retail game.

7. A bug that sometimes keeps some players from being able to sprintThis has been fixed for the launch of the retail game.

8. Screen flickering/stuttering. Blue screen remains after respawn. Game locks up after deploying C4 (360) This has been fixed for the launch of the retail game.

9. Downed bodies appear to be dead, but are not
The DICE team has been looking into this issue – which is caused by a combination of incidents in a confined area - and are working hard to address the issue for the launch of the retail game.

10. Why is the hit detection seemingly different from Battlefield: Bad Company 2?
The netcode is one of the many things that we are testing as part of the Open Beta and is not necessarily reflective of the final retail game. The DICE team appreciates and has heard the feedback you’ve provided and is further optimizing online play.

The French are Coming

Overlord released a time table for future releases earlier today and what we can expect from the tank factory. The biggest group to come out by years end is the French group which consists of over 18 tanks. I must admit I didn't relise the french made that many tanks, but apparently Word of Tanks found some to use. To see the full list click the link below.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Diplomacy is Supreme Update

If you read my first post about this particular game then you are aware of the problem I was facing and the diplomacy that was underway to make a difference. Well as you can see things didn't go as well as I hoped for. Lithuania did indeed join myself and Italy in the conflict, but he was late to join in. The plan to cut off Algeria from crossing into Europe ultimately failed because his battleship fleet arrived to late.

I havent given up hope yet and still ma fighting, but with Algeria attacking my Captial I may be on my last leg. Oh well like I said winning and losing in this Supreamcy 1914 is part of it, but to me the real star is the diplomacy.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Gaming World just got a lot more interesting

So today as I posted earlier Battlefield 3 open Beta has begun and even as my computer continued to download the game client, I may or may not have been notified of a recent invite to another much anticipated games Beta. It is an exciting time to be a PC gamer .

Battlefield 3 open Beta is here

With less than a month before BF3 is released EA has opened up Beta to everyone. Beta will be played on the Operation Metro map and will last till October 10th. In order to get the beta you must first download the new Origin program. You can find the article here to get all the information you need to download the Beta.