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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ten Ton Hammer World of Battleships Interview

Ten Ton Hammer interviewed Wargamming's Frazer Nash in a kinda first look at the upcoming World of battleships. included in the article was some limited information on World of Warplanes as well. The highlight of the article was some "Screenshots" of the upcoming game and they look awesome. Also confirmed was the fact that you won't be able to go under the water and wage combat under the waves as Nash confirmed that there will be no Submarines in WOB. He cited game balance issues for the reason they are not included as everyone will just get into a sub and no one will be able to fight.

One major thing I did notice was a Carrier shot and this comment as to thier purpose. "As a carrier, the only weapon you’ve got is AI planes. You launch the planes, they go to a particular location, and they’ll either find something to shoot on the way, or they run out of fuel and head home. The smaller, fast ships can evade or fight off planes as they get a fix on the bigger ships, so your battleships can begin to fire.”

its an interesting read and some nice images which I have attached below.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Battle for the Dnieper Special

World of tanks has a new special dedicated to another offensive during World War II. Heres the info from the actual Article announcing some tanking goodies like half off tanks and double money for some.

Starting from 11:30 AM UTC, August 25, and till 11:00 AM UTC, August 26, the profit gained from Hummel, SU-8 and M41 SPGs will be doubled.\

Starting from 11:30 AM UTC, August 25, and till 11:00 AM UTC, August 29, the following oppties will be available:
  • Renaming a tanker will cost 10 gold only;
  • Buy Valentine, Matilda, PzKpfw B2 740 (f), and Ram-II premium tanks at half-price;
  • Prices for ΠΆ-34, SU-76, KV-1S, PzKpfw III/IV, PzKpfw IV, PzKpfw VI Tiger, M7, M4A3E8 Sherman and T1 Heavy reduced by half!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

SWTOR missing the mark on Morality and Factions

            Recently there has been much discussion in the blogosphere about a couple of subjects and how they relate to SWTOR. Tobold, Ferrel at EpicSlant, Syp over at Bio break and some others have been discussing the use and implementation of the morality system in SWTOR. While a post at MMO melting Pot and one by Ferrel at Epic Slant also chimed in on the popular system of factions in games. A while back I also wrote a post on wanting to play a Bounty Hunter in SWTOR and the main reasons I most likely won’t be playing one, Faction and Morality.

            All this talk about Morality and Factions got me thinking about the games design and how BioWare has truly missed a great opportunity to give players exactly what they have wanted in a game. They have the perfect system in place with a game designed around a good vs. evil morality scale, story driven quests and Home world planets for each class, to create the ideal environment for a player choosing which side they ultimately side with. To really get into the missed opportunity we must dive into each class and show examples of what could have been.

Bounty Hunter and Smugglers

Both of these classes for all intensive purposes are the perfect candidates for creating a neutral class as each is usually driven by their quest for wealth and desire for independence. Now I will concede that in Star Wars lore Bounty Hunters have usually sided with the Empire (Sith) side and Smugglers have usually sided with the Alliance (Jedi), but both classes have shown signs of working for themselves first and foremost and going where the money is.

Boba Fett is arguably the most well known and beloved bounty hunter of all time and although he often sided with the empire, he was never truly “evil” in his choices, nor where other bounty hunters of Mandalore heritage. Often they only cared about one thing and that was payment. Their actions were more business like than devious and one can easily see a bounty hunter making light side choices.

Smugglers are a shady and underhanded class that make their living transporting illegal goods and doing whatever they must for money. The most popular smuggler of all time, Han Solo is an iconic hero of the Alliance, but he also worked with the Hutts at one time. Smugglers could just as easily be evil in their actions as Good and also have a great chance of siding with either side.

These two classes offer the perfect chance for BioWare to create a truly neutral faction. The home world starting areas of both could be geared towards “taking care of business” with the choices player’s make along the way ultimately deciding where they go next. Play with a dark sided slant and you go Empire, Light sided goes Alliance. This generates the perfect opportunity for truly impactful decision making.

Jedi and Sith

            While both these character classes are closer to one side or the other, both have shown the ability to switch sides in Star Wars lore. Anakin Skywalker chose the dark side and then went back to the light as Darth Vader. Other characters like Jacen Solo and Lumiya went Dark after being light, While some like Mara Jade went Dark to Light. The point here is it is very possible for force users to be greatly effected by the choices they make. However ultimately their choices decide where they fall as either Jedi or Sith. I see no reason why this game should be any different.

            Player’s choices while playing should ultimately decide where they fall and would make for some interesting game play. Imagine being a Jedi but making choices which are of a dark nature, earning you dark side points. Soon enough your friends discover who you really are and you are forced to flee your Jedi roots and strike out to find the Sith. Some will say that this is ultimately a penalty and that it may remove players from playing with their friends, but I am suggesting that this is an initial game feature that decides your fate. Players would have direct control from the start of where they will go. The bottom line is to give players choices that matter.

Republic Trooper and Empire Agent

            These two classes are probably the least affected by their choices as each is directly employed by their respective sides. Troopers are Republic, while Agents are Sith and as far as I am concerned the way these two classes are implemented is fine as is. However there is no reason not to make the choices a player makes affect these classes in a more profound manner. This system could allow even these two classes to have monumental changes to a player’s game. Former Trooper turned agent anyone? I see no reason for this not being possible.

It’s all about Meaningful Choices

Ultimately is appears to be to late to change the way SWTOR is begin designed and it saddens me just a little that this game could have become so much more. Immersion in this game could have been on an Epic scale as players would really feel like their choices shaped the world around them. This game was primed for building a starting zone where everyone got to choose where and how they ended up.

With a galaxy as big as Star Wars the developers had all the room they needed to model the questing/ story system to direct players where they needed to go. Starting areas could have been neutral with players then going to either a Sith or Alliance leveling areas. As the game stands now I believe the morality system is nothing more than a novelty idea as I will still be Sith or Republic no matter what choices I make.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

World of Tanks Teaser Video From Gamescom

A new video was released for WoT at Gamescom in Germany. No word yet what this is supposed to be about but it looks good. All the text on youtube is in russian and the site isn't giving any clues either so I guess we can wait and see.

Keep your Buddies Loltraktor in the Garage

So I have been noticing an alarming trend lately that is occurring in matches in World of Tanks. More and more often a Leichtraktor, MS-1 or Cunningham is populating the lower ranks of my team’s roster. I suppose the problem isn’t so bad if it is only one tier-one tank in a fight with tier 7 and up opponents, but what about 3 or 4? Just recently I started a match that included no less than 3 tier 1 tanks in a fight with a tier 7 low end.

This is becoming more and more prevalent lately as many of my matches now include this instant handicap to a team. Most players laugh it off with comments in chat like “nuke carrying Cunningham” or calling out dibs for shooting the Loltraktor, but the reality is in a game where every tank counts losing several worthy teammates to ineffective target practice drones makes the game a little frustrating at times. 

This is most likely happening because newer players are brought into the game by friends who are already many tiers above them. These friends in a desire to play together and advance the new player as fast as possible create a platoon and join the queue together. The games mechanic awards them an overall score when placing them and thus you get lower tier tanks in high tier battles.

            There is nothing that says “you lose” more than starting out with only twelve worth while teammates against an opposing team of 15 properly tiered tanks. Is this a major problem in the grand scheme of tank battles? No not really, but if left alone it could become worse. Imagine when that 3 tank disadvantage becomes 5 or maybe even 6, is it still not a problem? Keep in mind the recent patch that now allows two people to join a platoon without a premium account. Could this increase the frequency that we see lower tier tanks in a fight? I imagine that it will and not only will we get the privilege of fighting along side tier 1 tanks but all the subsequent tiers that player must climb.

            I think its time for the developers to institute a tier restriction on the type of tanks that can platoon and until then I only ask that my fellow tankers play down the tier tree if running with friends is their desire.   

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

First Trailer for World of Warplanes released has released the first game trailer for the upcoming game World of Warplanes that was aired at Gamescom. No in game footage yet, but a nice little trailer none the less. Also included in the release was some game information including that it will launch with 60 airplanes from Russia, Germany, USA, Britton and Japan. Check out the post here.

World of Warcraft - Tanking without Threat

            Tanking in World of Warcraft has always been about getting the bad guys attention, keeping it and then absorbing their rage filled blows until your team mates can kill him off. Now with the recent announcement and hot fix by Blizzard to in essence eliminate threat from the equation, this basically removes the biggest component of tanking in the worlds most popular game and leaves the role to become nothing more than armored meat shields.


            I have never been a fan of the threat tanking mechanism from an immersion stand point. It never made sense to me why a dangerous being with planet ruling ambitions would become so single focused that a trash talking, shield slamming gnat would garner all of their hated blows even while other gnats slowly killed them with fireballs, shadow bolts and arrows from behind. However I also understand its need as a game mechanic and therefore I didn’t mind its inclusion in tanking.

            Blizzard has finally thrown in the towel and has given up on the balance issues inherently derived with trying to maintain a game mechanic vs. the desires and demands of its player base to help them with aggro control.  Now without the need to watch aggro or worry about the incoming insults from over zealous DPS when a wipe occurs, a tank needs only to get the baddies attention and then proceed to take hits from them. So is this the end of tanking specs in WoW? If a DPS geared Paladin or Warrior garner enough health to survive the onslaught will they be all that is necessary to win a fight? I guess we will find out, but one thing is certain tanking guides have just become a lot easier and so has tanking.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tanks, Planes and now Battleships is showing no signs of slowing down after their success with World of Tanks as they have now announced a new game World of Battleships. Wargamming has stated that they ultimately want a "World of" trilogy with World of Tanks, World of Warplanes and now World of Battleships. So just to keep everyone up to date we now have WoT, WoW (2nd) and now WoB.

             Anyone who has been following WoT's success could have seen this one coming as it makes sense to create a ship warfare game that is based on the same game model as WoT. Warship play style can be very similar to tanks as they move along 1 dimension and are usually able to take more than one hit. I am still curious to see how they are going to make airplanes work in this gaming model, but I have faith that Wargamming will be able to pull it off.

To date they haven't released any details about the new game, but the ships will use a similar economic system as WoT and ships will have the following traits - firepower, speed, armor and endurance. Sounds likes tanks on the water to me, but that's probably the best route to make this a good game. I will do my best to keep you guys up to date on any developments.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

There and Back Again - A Hobbits Tale...and Back Again...and Back....Again

Being that I am a big fan of the literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien, making my way in and around the shire has been an enjoyable trip...the first time.

Sprigleys farm, The Hunting Lodge and Archet are all really neat and fun to visit, I'm just not sure they need to see me so often. One thing that holds true to all MMO's that I have played is the constant back and forth the Quests tend to make you do. I sometimes think that NPC quest givers are quietly chuckling to themselfs after watching us run off yet again to the place they just sent us to a minute ago.

"Ah hello again brave adventurer, so glad to see you made it back safely. Here ya go.. as promised ninety copper coins."

"Phew damn that farm is far...Thanks...(Cough)... It was tough but I seem to have managed alright...just a tab bit winded is all."

"Yes, yes very well done indeed ...there's just one more thing."

"What's that? You have further need of me? Is it something that can wait till the morning?"

"Oh no, I'm afraid it is of dire concern and requires immediate attention...BEFORE IT'S TO LATE."

"Really? (sigh) ok how can I help?"

"There seems to be a small spider infestation that has sprung up and I think your just the man for the job."

"Hmmm I see well no rest for the weary I guess, where to?"

"Sprigleys farm."

"WHAT??...for the love of god man I just came from there."

As characters we take such abuse from our quest givers that I wonder how many we would gladly cut down if given the chance.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

One more thing about tanks - New Russian Premium tank

Object 252 (IS-6) is slated to be a new tier 8 Russian premium tank. Some people are confused and upset because they thought this was going to be added to the Russian tech tree, but as developers are known to do they have changed their minds. Not much info has been released as of yet, but as soon as more information is release we will make sure to let you know.

World of Tanks Updates roundup

I swear this is not a World of Tanks blog, but with all the announcements pouring forth from its hard not to post about it. IN an effort to consolidate my posts about the game I will post several news updates on one post so here is the latest:

Patch 6.6 to release tomorrow

 The much anticipated 6.6 patch for World of tanks will soon be upon us which promises to bring a new Map Siegfired Line and a major overhaul of the Germna Tech Tree with the split of the heavy tree line into two groups and the addition of several tanks including the E Series. Also included is several modifications to several other tanks including hit point reduction in the tier 10 IS-7 and T-30 tanks.

Its offical players hate Malinovka (Campinovka)

A recent post on Overlords blog showed a 2 to 1 ratio of players disliking the map. Being that this map is one of the first players expoirience when first playing the game I think most are just getting tired of it. A big problem with it is that when the matches involve higher tiers most players sit and wait which drags out matches and increases boredom for some. This map more than any other probably needs a make over.

 WoT to Celebrate 1 Year anniversary

World of Tanks is approaching 1 year of being live already and has prizes ready for its player base. Forst up is a free Premium day with other goodies promised in the near future.

World of Tanks is looking for friends

Also they have announced a campaign to get 200,000 Likes from facebook users. In eturn for your stamp of approval Wargamming will give everyone a 5 times rate increase for their first match.

Well if you were clamoring for some Tanking news this should hold you over for a little. While see you on the battlefield.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Yet another Video Update for World of Tanks

Say what you will about the World of Tanks developers, but at least they are hard at work and constantly making improvements to the game. Today they released another news video starring my favorite non english speaking host about upcoming changes. This video is still in Russian so you will have to read the text at the bottom of the screen.

I like the attention to detail that goes along with a graphics update it shows they care about details. Implementing a new graphics tool shows they arn't just hoarding all the cash they are making, but are also focusing on improving the game.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

World of Tanks Patch 6.6 Trailer

World of Tanks patch 6.6 is close upon us and has released a video documenting the new features. Included in this patch is a new map Siegfried Line and some major additions to the German Tank Line.

I am really looking forward to the E series of German tanks and the new map. The best part of this game is the frequent patchs they release. Every month or so new content and tanks can be expected. This is very different from other games as content patches are usually far apart.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

How to make trips Epic

Melmoth at Killed in a Smiling Accident has a post up about questing while away. As usual he has a interesting way of looking at life and games and making it humorous. Its amazing how easily life can parody what we do in games, but how little of what we do in a game would be allowed in life.

                      My three-year-old daughter has a fascination with pine cones, something which becomes somewhat of an obsession when presented with a forest packed to the canopy with conifers. I made the most of the situation by setting her tasks to collect certain numbers of pine cones and return them to me. When she returned with the correct number I would offer her the choice of a plastic sword or an item of clothing from her suitcase, the latter of which she quickly learned could be equipped in order to improve her resistance to elemental damage. If she brought me an incorrect number of pine cones, I would either ignore her entirely, or incessantly repeat the same nonsensical sentence to her until she went away and collected the correct number.

Check out the rest of the post here and enjoy a good read.