You may have noticed (those who actually stuck around) that I haven't posted in a few days. As this blog is about my gaming experiences I didn't want to clutter it up with random nonsense as I was starting to. The fact is that I'm not really playing anything at the moment. I have dabbled in a couple of games but none were very interesting. WAR is looking amazing and all I can really think about is it. I'm starting to wonder whether my expectations for the game are too high but I truly believe that the game is going to be incredible.

I am still working on getting a new computer. As a student I have a pretty low budget but all I really want to be able to do is run WAR on high graphics. I have trawled the internet for quality stores that sell decent gaming computers for good prices and surprisingly found that eBay was often the best value place to shop. During my searches I often came across sellers that were trying to unload cheap computers onto those who are not so technologically savvy, but in the end I found a great computer for a very good price. It has a Intel quad core Q6600 CPU, 2GB of corsair ram, a nVidia 9600GT, as well as some other bits and pieces for under 800 bucks. It should be able to run WAR smoothly so am hoping to get it soon.

As a final note I found this eBay seller selling the preorder codes for the CE, that wasn't particularly interesting, but the fact that he had listed the system requirements for WAR was interesting/suss. You can check it out here.

Letter to the editor; ignorance is bliss

Here is a letter I wrote to a gaming magazine today. I'll just stuff it onto my blog for filing purposes, and also because I haven't posted in a while. I guess the letter slightly mirrors my writing style for this blog and its not much of a letter, fulfilling the role of a blog post very well.

For some time now I have noticed that many other friends who are unusually obsessed about gaming (At least, slightly more then me) continually compare recent games to ones that they have played before. They say that WoW was nowhere as good as Ultima Online, that they liked certain aspects of the first COD better then a game that was made 10 years ago, but they aren't quite sure whether COD4 is any better.
To me these people never seem to be able to enjoy any part of a game because they recall back to another game where the gun models looked shinier. With a seemingly endless inventory of previous gaming experiences from which they can pull out any example of something better. To me I would think this would take all the enjoyment out of the game.
I am particularly new to games so I do not know the history of gaming in the 80s, and I haven't played every fps that was released in the late 90s, and I enjoy it this way. The way I see it is if I did play all the fps games during the late 90s and knew the history of gaming in the 80s then I would do exactly the same thing as my friends and thereby, perhaps unknowingly compare the modern games to the ones I enjoyed ages ago, thus making me unsatisfied with the game. Whereas I could have enjoyed myself perfectly without the torturous knowledge of some aspect being slightly better in another game. That is why I value my gaming ignorance, and will stick to my narrow-mindedness despite what others might say.


For the past couple of days I have been playing Sid Meirs' Colonization. After writing up a post about it a few days ago I started looking around for a place to download it. I was a bit uncertain whether it would actually work on this computer and was not to suprised when a few downloads turned out bad. However, I eventually found one that did work and have been playing that since. It is very much like the Sid Meirs' Civ series but despite the horrible graphics I find myself loving this old game. Everything is right about it, and even me who is a hopeless tactical player, can appreciate and enjoy it. Being the tactical failure that I am I first played it on easiest which basically lets you win. But non-the-less it was very enjoyable.

My sister noticed me playing the game and asked if she could have a go. I left her alone for an hour and came back to see chaos. She had no idea what she was doing or what she was supposed to be doing, saying that the game had no tutorial from which to learn what to do. And I realized that she was right. The game just launches you straight into the action-packed world of building your own colony without explaining a whole lot. This seems to be true for many of the early games; the player is just expected to 'figure it out' with minimal explanation. It may have been difficult for my sister, who is definitely not a gamer, to play properly without a tutorial but I had no problems even though I hadn't played for over 8 years.

Nowadays nearly every modern game that comes out has a tutorial. Sometimes these are separated from the game's overall mission or storyline before you get to play the actual campaign, while others integrate the tutorial into the campaign/story. But they all have a tutorial. But why? What has changed through the years? Do modern computers and games provide a much steeper learning curve then they did back then? Or were games just for ultra nerds who didn't need tutorials? I have to say that I detest tutorials, many leaving me feeling more confused about the game then when I started. For some games they don't need much of a tutorial like Call of Duty because it is simple and everyone has played that kind of game before. But its rare that you come across a game which is different to others yet is simple enough not to need a detailed tutorial. I consider colonization to be one of such games, except I think my sister would disagree.

Holdiays are overrated

Its funny but I'm really not enjoying my holiday. In fact, I don't really ever enjoy them. I hate going to a resort or caravan park, preferring to stay at home. For the past two weeks of these holidays I have just been thinking about how much work I need to get done such as unfinished homework and the like, as well as how much work I will have to do when I get back. I know I will have forgotten nearly everything in most subjects so that will be tough to get back into. I still have to start reading 'Great Expectations' by Charles Dickens which is a beast of a book which I have started 3 times but haven't got passed the 1st chapter.

And I know that my next holdiays in 10 weeks will suck as well because I won't be able to stop thinking about the exams that will be coming soon after that. In all likelyhood I will be studying for them, or at least revising everything I have forgotten, which will be nearly everything anyway. The timing is horrible because it comes just at the rough-time-estimate of the launch of WAR. So while all the other bloggers will be going mad over their little lives in WAR I will be in a dark dank corner muttering mathematical equations and formulas to myself. All holidays for me are just days where you sit thinking about how much work you are going to have to do, rather then just enjoying myself.

Now, this post was not just meant to be a depressing pill to make you feel guilty about looking forward to life, living, and WAR-well-actually, yeah it was. But I know that when I get back to school things will begin to look up, as I convince myself that there is no point doing the work, and that a pass is a pass and school is not everything, so in the end things will work out ok. And now I have to somehow link all this nonsense back to gaming because thats what this blog is all about. Hmm. Ok, the speculation of something can often be a lot more dramatic and exciting/dreadful then the actual event is. Just like in games where the speculation for a game can a lot more exciting then the actual game is. *cough* Its not very good-in fact its really bad, but my Dad is pushing me off so I can do my math homework.

Slow times

The gaming scene for me has come to a standstill for the moment. There is just nothing out there that seems particularly good. I was never interested in AoC. WoW has nothing going for it, and I am definitely not going to try out WotLK, it will just be more of the same even with their new siege ideas. LotRO looks slightly tempting so I jumped on it for a day but it didn't excite me as much as it should have and so I'm not playing that. The blogging community seems to have gone into hibernation, posting endless speculation topics that just get annoying after time.

Tobold started the idea of a card-based mmorpg which didn't seem to go too well. In the comments section people seemed to be ripping it apart. I think the game could be interesting but Tobold is approaching it the wrong way. With the card-only trading scheme, and questing both which aren't particularly well thought out. Tobold's not a game developer, he is just stating his dream game which is fine, but I think he would have given it a bit more thought before releasing it to his 5000+ readership.

E3 is big at the moment. Keen and Graev are giving some interesting coverage but nothing really seems to be going on.
WAR is quiet, but it will be interesting what will be in next month's newsletter.
I am playing Combat Arms at the moment which is surprisingly good. It has recently come out of beta and Nexon are adding some nice new features regularly which is good to see.
Maybe we should make up our own gaming news to keep things moving along I could also always pretend I am playing a game and make up stuff about what I am doing. I am starting to see the advantages of running a blog with more then one person, right now I could do with someone who could write about anything where there really is nothing going on and nothing to say. Anyone?

The first game I ever played

Ah, sweet memories. I'm in the middle of my school holidays so I'm spending most of my time reading, sleeping, resting, or on the computer. The post about WoW yesterday got me thinking. I said that it was the first mmorpg that I played and the experience was completely new, well then I thought of the first ever game that I played. It was called Sid Meirs Colonization, and it was a brilliant. It was the kind of game that you can play like crazy for a few weeks, then lay off for a few weeks, then go just as crazy again and again and again.

Of course as a young kid, this being my first game I would only play it on the easiest level, as anything above that would result in a quick loss. There is not a whole lot I can remember about the actual gameplay but it basically involved starting a new colony in a new land, from a variety of nations, each of these nations had a specific tactical advantage such as faster or stronger ships. (Don't choose Spain because they suck)
You gain various convicts from your home city who can perform tasks for you such as gathering furs or corn which you would then sell. The productivity of these item depended on where you built your town. Theoretically you could explore the entire map searching for the perfect spot but this would take too long and let the neutral Indians and Incas build up their troops. Also, your colony could produce more if you had a specific specialist like a tanner or something who would enable you to produce more furs. These specialists were rare and often came from capturing or destroying enemy ships.

You could only return to your home city my exiting the map from the east so it was time-wasting and unproductive to build your new colony far away from the eastern edge. As you gain more convicts you could then build another colony build a little road between the two and begin making troops. These troops were convicts who had been trained in a barracks which you would have to build in your colony. Combat was simply based on the skill and strength of your troops and their terrain. Naval battles were also vital in preventing other nations from trading with their home city.

The game was extremely fun and quite tactical. Looking back now I begin to notice how much other games gathered from Colonization, and how remarkable it was when it was released in 1994. The final thing you had to do in order to pass the game was declare your independence and then an massive army of enemies would appear around your cities and you would have to beat them off. Even though it was a simple game I still got an incredible thrill from gaining my independence. And that was the first game I ever played.

Why was World of Warcraft so good? part 2ish

I am sorry, I was going to write a lengthy article about this topic again, but slowly felt all life drain from me and the desire to live fading. It was too depressing. As I went through all the reasons why I believed that WoW was great it dawned on me that so much of this was missing from the present game.
I truly believe that WoW was a great game when it came out. I believe that it was great for a year or so after that but soon the patches and little adjustments were slowly taking away the challenge and authenticity of the game. It was getting easier and easier to do things that were so hard before. Gear nowadays is absurd, with purples being the norm, blues being useless. PvP is ridiculous. BGs are short and all anyone cares about is the gear that they are going to get by completing them. No longer are Horde and Alliance fighting each other in AV, now they just run madly past each other, drooling for loot.
The game is not an experience anymore, its carnival.

The reason why WoW was great was because it was a world; a place to get lost. There was so much to do, and seemingly everything mattered. The war effort event was hugely successful and helped the game because people did it not only for the rewards, and it added depth to the world. If a war effort happened today, the gear would need to be outrageous for anyone to give away their precious crafting gear. But nobody seems to want depth anymore. 10 million people say they like loot-grabbing goodness and fast leveling and Blizzard follow that. Money talks.
This is so depressing..
First WoW was great because it allowed the player to submerge him/herself in the game. Now it is popular because it rewards you for everything, everyone can look flashy, there is very little punishment, and there are so many things to do. This being said people now do not explore places or run low-lvl instances preferring to rush to the top and get their gear. Blizzard, I am sure, will someday release another mmorpg after WoW, I will be very interested to see whether it follows the first type/version of WoW, or the present one.

One thing is for certain; I am no good at doing 2-part posts.

Why World of Warcraft so good? Part 1

This is the question that so many developers have asked themselves. Why does everyone love WoW. Why does blizzard have over 10 million subscribers and there are no other really good mmorpgs on the market. What are other developers doing wrong? Are they dong anything wrong?

I'll kick off the study by quoting the blurb on the back of the World of Warcraft retail box;

'Descend into the World of Warcraft and join thousands of might heroes in an online world of myth, magic and limitless adventure. Jagged snowy peaks, mountain fortresses, harsh winding canyons. Zeppelins flying over smoldering battlefields, epic sieges-an infinity of experiences await. So what are you waiting for?

Seeing that now so much later then the initial release it seems so strange and clean as apposed to what WoW is seen to repesent and to be in the present day. Thousands would become millions. Beautiful scenery becomes flashy gear. Epic sieges become 15 minutes Alterac Valley battles. Things have changed so much.

I started my experience with WoW, like many others, from a trial disk that a gaming magazine gave out with one edition. Just from a few screenshots from the magazine the game looked exactly like the retail box blurb described it. It looked exciting, and fun, and the scenery looked stunning. I should note here that I have always had a truly dreadful computer that can only run most games on low graphics, if indeed at all, so it was a relief and a great new experience to enjoy something so rich and colourful.

I picked a dwarf warrior, and after messing around with his looks I entered the world of Warcraft. For the next hour or so I ran around aimlessly as I was in a completely new world, something I hadn't experienced before. Dun Morough was so fun. The music was calming, yet thrilling and I would take enjoyment from the smallest things, like completing my first quest, or finding a new zone. The game was fresh and exciting. I soon quit my dwarf warrior and started a human rogue. I didn't like the starting zone quite as much so dropped him soon after and took up a gnome mage. The mage sucked horribly at the time but I didn't care. I hit lvl 20, which was higher then any of my other characters, and was running around Redbridge having the time of my life. Soon I got tired of the gnome and started a human paladin. I enjoyed this so much that I played him right up to lvl 35 which was quite a feat for me, being normally restricted to 30min - one hours time playing per day.

Back then the aim of the game for me was not to level, I just enjoyed doing quests, finding new places, getting new gear, just basically playing the game. I never really grouped and I didn't craft, because I didn't know how. I was completely new to mmorpgs as I am sure were so many others. Those first few months were probably the most enjoyable for me, simply because it was new and special. No other game had seemed so important or interesting. I planned out what I was going to do in the game while I wasn't playing. I dreamed of the game, I discussed it with my brothers. It was all-consuming for me.

Perhaps it was because I was so young and naive and new to the scene but I think the reason I liked the game so much was firstly because it was simple, and that is key. And the second because it was simply fun. The game was simple to me; you logged on and ran around exploring the areas, get quests, kill new monsters, finish quests, and get new gear. That was the game for me and it was all I wanted. The game was simple in this manner, not getting serious until you started to hit the higher levels where it took real commitment to get to 60. And then it was hardcore raiding. I stayed away from this and just enjoyed my little, low level, nooby-new world. And it was fun in its simplicity.

What about you? What was your first mmorpg? What did you enjoy most about it? Was it a completely new experience? Did you enjoy just exploring and finding new quests and new monsters?

Dungeon Runners interview


Here is part of an interesting interview of one of the Dungeon Runners team, by Gareth Von Kallenbach in mid 2007. You can find the complete interview here.

What is the background and setting for the game please?

The back story for Dungeon Runners is timeless. You’re new in town and you’ve heard about dungeons where you can gain power and riches. Sadly, there are monsters in the dungeons that stand between you and glory. The result? Kill the monsters and grab the loot! Have you guessed that story isn’t a large part of Dungeon Runners? In all honesty, there isn’t an overarching storyline or fiction for the world of Dungeon Runners. However, many quests that you can undertake do present their own mini stories for you to enjoy.

What are some of the player types and their abilities?

Dungeon Runners currently supports playing as a male or female human. There are no special abilities for humans, except looking good! In general, there is one player role that Dungeon Runners supports… monster killer! As a monster killer, you have a wide assortment of abilities at your disposal. Feel free to cut, smash, whack, pummel, burn, freeze, poison, zap or confuse your enemies to death!

With so many MMOPGS on the market and more coming, is it a challenge to reach out to new gamers, especially when many can only afford subscription rates to a few games?

Of course! Getting the attention of players is a difficult job, to say the least. However, we feel that Dungeon Runners fills a unique place in the market. Dungeon Runners is free to download and free to play. This gives potential players a chance to try the game without spending a dime! Dungeon Runners is also a lighthearted game. We poke fun at ourselves and other games in the MMO space with reckless abandon. I find myself laughing out loud as I play on many occasions. Where else can you find a free to play, fun, lighthearted MMO? You can’t!

What are some of the character classes and the strengths and weaknesses of the character classes?

Dungeon Runners sports a classless RPG system… which means you can mix and match skills to make your favorite type of monster killer. This classless system determines your title based on what skills you have, your level and your attributes. However, when creating your character, you will be presented with three basic archetypes – Fighter, Mage and Ranger. Fighters are good at smashing monsters to little bits. Mages excel at burning, freezing or zapping monsters to oblivion. Rangers are really good at poisoning and filling monsters with arrows or shotgun shells. Take your pick! Advanced players can easily mix and match skills to create their own custom class. It’s a lot of fun!

I have to commend them on their enthusiasm. It sounds very much like Paul Barnett in full swing!

Bartle's quiz

I took the Bartle's gamer quiz today and here are the results;

Based on your answers you are ...


AKSE players like to be the best-of-the-best at everything the game has to offer. They like to be high on the ladders of whatever metrics the game uses, including PVP. They like the best gear, the most power, and they love being the 'first' at something. Their prowess in PVP is generally supported by a large degree of understanding and posession of the best equipment and skills.

Breakdown: Achiever 73.33%, Explorer 20.00%, Killer 66.67%, Socializer 40.00%

Take the quiz here to find out what type of gamer you are!

Viewing statistics

Syp over at WAAAGH! just hit the 100k viewer milestone the other day. And he did it in 4 months which is ludicrously fast. Syncaine hit the 100k mark shortly before his first year anniversary of blogging which I thought was impressive enough. /random made a post about being a blogger which was interesting. Some of the comments from legendary bloggers such as Keen and Graev were that all the 'advertising' they did was through commenting on others' blogs.
Anyway I think I am up to 20 total views or something by now after a bit over a month of blogging but I'm looking forward and 50 views holds no fear for me.

Mythic's announcement

The whole WAR world has spun to a halt at the announcement from Mark Jacobs today. While everyone was desperately hoping for good news maybe, maybe the announcement of an upcoming open beta as well as the release date? But no, Mythic just popped in to say that they were taking out some stuff and hiring punkbuster. You can read the article here.

For the most part the exclusions do not effect me. I have always been planning on playing a Warrior Priest, and maybe an Engineer so I am not losing sleep over that any time soon. I noticed that all the classes taken out were melee, which kinda' makes sense as the melee dps is just that; melee dps. Mythic put themselves in a tough position in promising interesting dmg bots. The two tanking classes; Blackguard and Knight of the Burning Sun were very interesting. I know many people were planning to role KoTBS so the news will come as a big blow to them. It did look like a very interesting class to play and its a shame that its going to be taken out. The classes will be where it hurts the most, as many WAR fans had only planned on playing one of the since removed classes. Tough times ahead for them.

The cities I didn't think too much over. I had never been in them, I had never experienced them so I don't really miss them. I just have to say that the Order and Chaos faction cities will have to be no less then brilliant for a large amount for people to be satisfied. I don't think this is going to effect gameplay a whole lot as there will still be plenty of smaller towns which will be sure to become 'mini cities.' And Mythic is sure to add a ton of content to fill up those gaps. I wonder if they are going to have to change the world map to make the factional city best accessible to all races. If so, then that will be a big task.

The disappointment is not just in the news itself, its really the news. Everyone wanted so much for the news to be great that this could be the final straw for many people. I know quite a few people are saying that this will mean the game will be incomplete for the player at the launch but I am certain that this will not be the case. Mythic will cover it up and smooth it over so you will not recognize it. A friend in my guild was furious at the news as it game just a few months after everyone bought the CE and now they change the game, which I think is a good point.

Mythic needs to stop announcing that they have an announcement to make in a few days, get everyone's hope up and then give out some bad news, it just doesn't work. It is setting up more people for more disappointment. As I said, I do not believe that this will effect the gameplay, it will still be as great but it is a disappointment, especially for those who have to rethink their class and perhaps whether they are going to play anymore.

As a final note, Mythic are sure to release the content they took out in later patches. The worst thing they could possibly do though is wait for an expansion and charge people to put that stuff back in. If they do that then they will lose a ton of players, including me.


Just a quick note. I have edited my Dungeon Runners review slightly as I felt, reading over it later after I had posted it, that it was unfairly harsh. I guess it is a lesson for me not to write reviews while I am in an emotional state, in that case very annoyed.
Also Combat Arms has come out of beta recently and I will be playing that for a while. If anything yummy happens I'll let you know.

Which are you?

Are you a mouse person or a keyboard person? I'm talking about games like space invaders where you move your little ship accross the screen shooting endless waves of aliens. Nowadays, in the more modern versions it gives you and option either to use your mouse to move the ship or use the regular keyboard. But the thing is that these kind of games were designed for computer parts 5-10 years ago, and carrying on the tradition simply doesn't work.

Now I don't normally play games like space invaders but the topic was brought to my mind when my little brother tried out a demo of Chicken Invaders. After playing a while I really couldn't understand why they even gave you the option to use the keyboard because it was so awkward to use, and not nearly as quick and sensitive as the mouse. I found myself dying so often because you move sooo slowly using the arrow buttons. I wonder if they are keeping with old traditions back when there were no laser mouses, and every gamer had the big ball-type mouse that got caught and clogged up all the time. Can you imagine playing CS with a mouse like that nowadays? If CS was released 10 years ago with all the shoddy mouses maybe you could play that equally good with the keyboard, but as technology had moved on and mouses have got upgraded and better nobody would use the keyboard even if there was an option to do so. But why don't keyboards get an upgrade with the times, why can't keyboard users be able to be just as fast as mouse users? Its a sham. Disgraceful.

The only use I can see for the keyboard option is for 2-players, where one uses the mouse, and the other uses the keyboard. But before laser mouses which type did you use? The faulty big ball-type mouse or the keyboard?

PS. I aplogise for any spellign mistakes as the stupid bloogger word correcting this isnt workign.

My brief affair with EVE Online

After urgings from some friends I was persuaded to give EVE Online a shot a few days ago. I wasn't really interested in the idea or concept of an mmorpg centered around spaceships but I am utterly bored at the moment and would have given pretty much anything a go at that point.

Before starting the game you need to choose a race, some sort of clan or something, some stats, attributes and other confusing stuff that is not fully explained. It was interesting that they put in so many options of character customization when I thought the whole game was focused around the massive spaceships, although they could be there just to create a more in-depth, realistic feel to the game. So, I picked at random buttons, not really reading or caring what the different options were as I really just wanted to get into the game. As the last option I was able to finely adjust the facial features of my character. I was able to make his jaw wider or thinner, longer or shorter, I could extend his cheekbones and other crazy stuff like that. It took me at least five minutes before I had finally settled on a particular face and even then I would have liked to mess around a bit longer.

After finishing off the face I entered the game tutorial of sorts. It was fairly simple and easy and I liked the camera freedom but I was lost in all the option menus and fancy buttons. Maybe its just me (And it probably is) but I like simplicity. But once again I say it may have been designed like that to give the player a sense of realism, as if they are actually in control of a real spaceship. And in this way the game really achieves this. The only problem is I don't really want to be in charge of a massive spaceship with all its fiddly buttons and controls; too much responsibility and confusion. Then again I also could be a simpleton and in fact the controls and buttons could be simple to learn and adapt to, which I think is the most likely.

After killing some baddies, and mining an astronaut, I mean asteroid, I went over to a base to dock my ship. At this point I thought it would give a me an opportunity to run around with my crazy toon in an advanced city but all that happened was I got a boring picture of my spaceship floating around with even more options then usual surrounding it. The tutorial thingy introduced me to the 'agent' option that supplies me with quests supposedly. Slightly confused I got my first quest and looked at it, it was complicated and once again confusing. One minute later I quit the game.

Now, I am not saying at all that the game is rubbish, in fact I know many people that consider it a great game and I believe that it is for many people. I am just saying that it didn't entertain me for the first 15 minutes and so I quit. Maybe it is because it is because I am part of the new generation that needs instant gratification, and the fact that I seem to get confused easily. But I think that everyone has their own tastes and EVE Online didn't really match mine.

But that wasn't quite the end of my EVE adventuring. A bit later I remembered my enjoyment with the character customization and logged back in to give it another go. This time I picked a different race so the base figure I started with was different. I spent the next 45 minutes messing around and I have put in screenshots of the results of my efforts. Even if you don't like the concept of a spaceship mmorpg, try out EVE Online character customization as it really is entertaining.

Runescape gets a makeover

Wow, I have just discovered that Runescape, every 10-year old gamer's first love affair, has just got a whole new makeover. I once played the game when I was 11 or 12 for about 2 weeks. I didn't really enjoy it because I couldn't see anything due to the gamma being far too low, but I had no idea how to change it. As a result I really had no idea where I was going or what I was doing. I ran off the tutorial island without really learning a thing. But I don't really want to get into my experience of the game as it is pretty short and bitter.
But the change between the graphics are simply astonishing; the previous graphics were particularly awful even for 50 years ago, but the upgrade really looks quite spectacular and I am sure that many now-twenty-years-olds will be rushing back to experience their childhood world in full-screen. Its exciting and has been a long time coming and hopefully its going to do wonders for Runescape's fans and reputation.
After this announcement I simply have to play it again, I have no idea how long this curiosity and interest will last but will get back to you later.

Storylines in mmorpgs


The other day I was reading the newspaper and came across this reviewer commenting on a movie. He claimed it had the storyline of a computer game which I can only judge to be pretty poor in his opinion as the movie was give only 2 and a half stars. It made me wonder how much story really is involved in a mmorpg and what it means to the player. I have to say that for the most part I don’t particularly care about the story of an average mmorpg but I do like some like LOTRO. I loved the book system and the way it really drew the player through the story while rewarding him. But for other systems I really got no sense of a storyline and therefore really didn’t seek it. Perhaps it is just me but if they do not ‘force’ the story on me then I don’t pay it much attention.

Dungeon Runners had no defining, overarching storyline and this caused me to feel confused and wonder exactly why I was dying constantly against massive mobs and watching a stupid shoe ad, while as for WoW I also got no sense of a storyline and yet did not care. I was happy to run around and do my thing perfectly ignorant of everything around me. Storylines are incorporated into mmorpgs in 3 different ways;

1. There is little obvious storyline and the gameplay sucks, therefore the game sucks such in Dungeon Runners.
2. There is little obvious storyline and the gameplay rocks, therefore you do not notice the absence of the story and have a great time anyway such as in WoW.
3. There is a fair bit of storyline for the player to enjoy but the gameplay suffers a little such as in the end-game of LOTRO.
4. There is a fair bit of storyline for the player to enjoy and the gameplay is great leaving a warm fuzzy feeling inside you, but I have not found a game yet that does this, although hoping that WAR achieves this feat.

While this is a rough generalization I think it covers the basics. Storyline is not essential to the quality of the game unlike a movie (making the comparison/argument of the reviewer obsolete} as what people really want is great gameplay.

Speculation on WAR


Its been a quiet couple of days and I have only been dabbling in various games with none particularly interesting me and, once again, my mind returns to longing for WAR to come out. This post is just some random thoughts written down.

I love everything that Mythic say they are going to do be doing in the game except for the crafting which I think will suck. In the end everyone will go scavenger and loot during RVR making it rather boring. Mythic love their non-recipe idea but I can guarantee within weeks all the best combinations will be widely available for the general public and no one will bother to experiment anymore. Mythic however could subtly improve and add combinations regularly that are even better then the ones on the internet but this most likely will not be done owing to that crafting could become overpowered extremely quickly.

Mythic have made it a nightmare to choose which class I will role and currently I am torn between the engineer, warrior priest, and perhaps hammerer, with the warrior priest looking the most inviting at the moment. I had been planning on playing one for quite a few months now and I was disappointed to hear that Mythic claimed that the 'healer' classes would be probably the most powerful in the game. I knew this would cause a ton of nooby players change their ideal class and on launch there is going to be an overload of 'healers'. As the supposedly most powerful class, healers will dominate the servers and everyone will hate them, then they'll get nerfed and no one will play them anymore. Of course this is all speculation as I haven't actually tried any of the classes and my judgment is based entirely on class info released by Mythic, I long for Open Beta where I will finally be able to try out all the classes.

I was interested to note that Mythic were promoting their classes like crazy; everywhere I go people are asking which side they will fight for and what class they are going to role. I'm not certain about other mmorpgs but as far as I can tell in no other game have so many players decided what class they were going to go before the launch, let alone the beta. I doubt too many players pre-WoW were discussing whether the paladin was cooler then the druid. The sheer number and diversity of the classes offers a choice to each player's desire, from the massive (stupid) choppers to the crazy-cool witch hunter. I think the choice to tone down the leveling time for the player was a brilliant call by Mythic as more people will be able to play their favorite classes to the cap at a comfortable pace, without being burnt out by their first toon. Many people can be scared away by the prospect of spending a seemingly huge amount of time reaching the lvl cap.

Scenarios are getting more interesting by the month, cities look great, PvE is taking shape so everything and everyone is looking forward.

It never would have worked between us... (Dungeon Runners conclusion)

The first thing you will notice about Dungeon Runners is that it has ads; a large banner accross the top of the screen, but while it isn't overpowering and dominating you still know its there so its still just as bad. Play a bit longer and you notice more ads, perhaps if you are lucky you will encounter the terrible shoe ad which seems to last forever. Play a bit longer and you begin to recognize various similarities between DR and Diablo, then you notice some similarities between DR and WoW then you see a whole lot of similarities between DR and watching grass grow. But seriously, Dungeon Runners seems far too much like a 3D Diablo. There are many restrictions on the game which you can only be rid of if you pay a monthly fee to be a member. Play NC made the job for gold farmers (...If there are any for DR) much easier by including an option that increases the difficulty level as well as allowing the character to get a ton more loot. The gameplay is repetitive, the community is silent most of the time, and dying is over powered. This is my review of Dungeon Runners;
The graphics are actually pretty nice considering it is free, although many of the weapons and armour look exactly the same. Many of the maps seem all exactly the same with only the towns or checkpoints looking any different. In the nooby zone I ran through some forest levels call the Dew Valley, then at the end of 3 levels I reached a cave. A bit later in the game I came accross the exact same cave except this time it was called Algernon and it had different monsters in it. Big whoop. I reached a portal in Algernon that said Not So Rumoured Refinery and lo and behold I entered the cave at the end of Dew Valley except there were different monsters. This copying method makes it so much easier for the developers but a whole lot more boring for gamers. I don't want to walk through 7 levels of the same cave only to advance to another cave which looks exactly the same. This is a free to play game and for that the graphics are quite nice, but the repetitiveness of the scenery gets extremely tiring after a short time.

Dungeon Runners is a hack and slash game where you kill baddies for loot, you hand in quests for gold but no experience, then you buy new skills with your massive amounts of money and repeat the process. There isn't a great sense of direction in the game with many of the quests being amusing at the beginning but begin to wear thin and end up being simply silly, as there really is no storyline. Often the quest titles and language are rough and unprofessional with titles such as 'Noobies Start Here!!' The quests are standard boring stuff comprising of 'kill x monsters' or 'collect x from monsters', or 'talk to x to get another quest which will require you to kill x monsters'. Generally I am fine with the occasional 'kill x monsters' but DR exceeds expectations and wishes in that department.

For the most part fighting is quite fun killing large hordes, yelling in triumph then spending 5 minutes picking up stuff and comparing it to what you are wearing. But I do have a few problems with the system that are tremendously annoying. For instance; you have to point and click to attack the monsters around you, but when you click on a monster to attack you will hit anything between you and that monster. As a ranger I use my crossbow to take out enemies, but when I traget a ranged dps enemy I cannot do any damage to it until the melee monsters have been cleared out of my range of fire. This leads to attacking monsters which you do not mean to be attacking and wasting a lot of time, sometimes resulting in death. Often there is an elite monster in a group of monsters who has a lot more health then the rest and does more damage, and generally you get better loot from killing these fellas'. But the thing is these elite mini-bosses often look exactly the same as normal monsters which means you will only realize that you haven't been clearing the trash but instead slowly taking down an elite which is slow and not nearly as efficient.

There are many more small details about Dungeon Runners that I could comment on but it would not add a whole lot to this post. The game is fun for a while but soon many of the niggly parts of the game show and it gets tired very quickly.

Combatting Combat Arms

Despite my hopelessness and first person shooters I downloaded Combat Arms the other day. It came as recommendation from a friend of mine who was gushing over it. After starting up the client and logging in, I picked one figure from four others, this wasn't really important as the differences were purely cosmetic. I then went to the shop/modification place where I was able to spend some of the money I had been given as a starting point on weapons. I picked one randomly, not really minding too much about the stats (I told you I'm hopeless at these games) and added a scope and silencer using the modifications option which was quite cool. Everything I bought gave me the option of either buying it for a day, a week, a month, or even 3 months, each getting more and more expensive with the weapon expiring from your inventory after that period of time. So saying, it would take an awful long time to save up enough to buy a gun for a year with the only way to acquire money is through playing matches, so I quickly entered a server and found a game. The loading time was surprisingly quick and within seconds I was running around pew pewing.

For a while I just ran around, getting used to the game and figuring out what all the keys did and dying so many times I started to think that some of these people were hacking. After five minutes I got my first kill and did a little dance of victory, having died nearly 10 times before doing so. The match was over and I gained a little bit of experience towards the next rank as well as $100.

I joined a few more games and did equally bad in them as well and was starting to hate the game quite badly before I found a map that seemingly suited me. It was called Junk Flea and was a very small map, with plenty of cover and things to hide behind, needless to say there was a ton of camping but I didn't care. Because so many were camping I just ran all over the place chucking grenades and then changing startled players, spraying all over the place. By the end of it I had actually got a positive kill/death ratio and had found my calling. Now I only play on that map and manage to get in the top 3 regularly. There seems to be only about 5 maps which is quite limited seeing as a few of the maps seem very similar, however I'm sure that Nexon will be releasing more maps later.

Dungeon Runners adventures 5

I have now stopped playing Dungeon Runners. For a while I had been hoping that something new and interesting would pop up that would keep the interest up but unfortunately it was just the same gameplay, same maps, and same monsters. In the end I just found myself grinding through these endless monsters for hours, then I thought to myself; hang on, why exactly am I doing this, do I need these guys for a quest? Who are they? Why are they here? In fact I didn't know, now I don't know whether this reflects the game's qualities or my slackness, but I had had enough.

After hitting lvl 10 I had messed around a bit and cleared out my bags coming up with $90000. I was quite proud of myself seeing my brother who had started playing had only $20000 when he got to lvl 10. I had reached the end of Algernon level 7 and was up to the boss level. For a while now I had raised the difficulty lvl which increased all the monsters' health by %100 and their damage by %40, while the loot was increased by %100. While I picked up some really nice stuff (Most of which I couldn't actually use sadly resulting in a lot of vendoring) I was also paying a lot of money of potions to keep my alive long enough. I figured that for the boss level I would need a ton of potions so grabbed about 20 and started my first attempt.

The boss level was made up of three rooms; one near the portal entry where there were no enemies, then there was the room in which the boss and all his goonies were waiting, and past there was a room full of treasure chests. With my %100 loot bonus and a Boss to fight for the first time, I was hoping that he would drop a rainbow coloured item, which is the best in the game. So saying, I pulled the monsters. There were about 8 regular monsters accompanied by a champion monster, a champion being just a mini boss, and the boss himself; Sissirat. I was quickly overwhelmed by the simple amount of damage that the group was doing and promptly died.

Slightly shocked, I waited for the stupid shoe ad to finish and ran back to the portal. I tried again and again, and again, but was making no progress. I had barely any time to do any damage to any of the monsters before I was overwhelmed. I started buying up huge amounts of potions, which were getting quite expensive by now. A few more deaths and I realized the problem; the stupid boss guy was spawning trash for me to kill, while I had been dying and coming back, dying and coming, slowly killing some trash guys and thinking I had made some progress I had been tricked, every time I killed the trash, the boss would spawn 5 more monsters.

Pissed off, I went back and by 3 more deaths I had killed the champion monster who had been doing a ton of damage. I then went for 3 other monsters who didn't get respawned. After about 5 more deaths I had killed them and only the boss and his spawnlings were left. Finally, after at least 20 deaths I killed the boss and was able to gather up all my loot. I had lost about $10000, but wasn't too worried because I was so intent on my rainbow item which I was sure to get. Needless to say, nothing even decent dropped and I was left lonely and broken. So that is why I quit; I died more times then I can count, spent a massive amount of money on potions, sat in front of the computer waiting for dozens of the stupid shoe ads to finish, and took well over 30 minutes in the process all for nothing.

Now that I have finished I will soon post my complete opinion on the game, but for now I'm goign off to have a soft cry and a milo.

A slightly delayed opinion on Diablo 3

At the moment the whole gaming community in clamoring over the recent announcement of Diablo 3. Nearly all the blogs I read have given their opinion on the news and what they think it means for a third Diablo to come out, many commenting on how Blizzard's massively popular World of Warcraft will effect the reception to their new addition to a much loved series.

Suprisingly many people reading these blogs gave strongly opinionated comments stating their surprise at Blizzard's decision to bring out another Diablo, stating that they couldn't see how the hack and slash style of gaming is any fun, and even more so with it being the third in the series. I was interested by this because, by comparison, when a new, excellent fps in a series such as Call of Duty comes out people don't go about saying how they can't understand how anyone could enjoy it; that they played it and it sucked, that they wanted a refund, that it was sooooo boring, and they just can't understand how it could be entertaining to anyone else. Now, normally people don't do stuff like that but its understandable I guess because of Diablo's unique nature and Blizzard's history with WoW.

Blizzard made a pretty daring decision to make a game that is loot focused in which you have to kill masses and masses of enemies. There was so much potential for disaster there and yet they managed to pull it off. Then they made WoW which now has over 10 million subscribers. Now everyone thinks this translates to whether they will change from the roots of Diablo to something that may use some of the magic from WoW to get more people to play Diablo 3. Fanboys all over the place are sitting in dark corners with their fingers crossed, screwing up their eyes wishing for Diablo to stay the same, and in the end I think this is what Blizzard is going to do.

The game looks great so far, and it will be interesting to see what the response to it will be when it is released.

Combat Arms

Have downloaded the game Combat Arms in the open beta stage. It looks quick nice and its free, and I am still really bored while waiting for WAR so I'm going to be trying it out for a while. Dungeon Runners is getting quite monotonous, so playing a bit less on it which allows me to dabble with a mmofps. I'm slightly apprehensive that I will enjoy myself as I am hopeless at shooting games, though I still generally really enjoy games such as Call of Duty. Well, hopefully all goes well and I'll give you my opinion on it a bit later.

Dungeon Runners adventures 4

Lvl 8 and things were starting to get slightly repetitive, so I changed tack and decided to slow down in the game and try to enjoy its different aspects. I started reading the quests and they were surprisingly amusing. Nearly all my quests involve something in Algernon so I ventured back in there.
I ran around for a few hours killing beasties and getting more quests, picking up some nice loot, and then I died for the first time. At first I was wondering what was going to happen but then the screen faded out and I was watching an ad for a shoe for about 15 seconds. When it was over I was standing back at Townston, I checked my inventory fearing that I would have lost some gear but was surprised to find that nothing had disappeared; I hadn't lost any gold, and no items were damaged as there isn't any damage system. Then I realized the problem; I had been ported out of Algernon so now I would have to spend ages run back through all the levels that I had already cleared to get to where I was originally. Sighing, I thought I would make the most of being in Townston and clear out some trash from my inventory, noticing that I was getting quite wealthy, up to about $30000. I didn't really want to run all the way back to where I had died so I clicked hopefully on the big stone portal thingy and was relieved that it offered an option to port me right back to the level where I had died. I clicked on it and was ported back to the entrance of Algernon level 3. Once there it was easy to run back to where I had died and kill the monsters.

While easy on the player, this dying system really isn't too good because the challenge really isn't there anymore, there is no punishment in dying, so theoretically you can take down a massive high level mob by killing off one guy at a time, then porting back and killing another.

Anyway, I got up to level 5 in Algernon doing quite well, but getting quite bored at the sameness of everything when I noticed someone advertising free gear in 'noob chat.' It was a sweet purple item ranged weapon, so I whispered to him that I would like it even though I was lvl 10 while the item was lvl 20. He was really kind and gave it to me anyway so I finished off the day on a high note. Hopefully tomorrow will be a bit more varied, as it basically was same old same old today.

Dungeon Runners adventures 3

Yesterday I didn't spend too long playing Dungeon Runners so was looking forward to getting into the nitty gritty of the game. I had finished the nooby zone quests and stuff so was ready to move on to the major town Townston. I clicked on this large elegant twirling, glowing rock that was hovering above the ground and it teleported me there. I spent a little while just running around finishing off 'talking' quests and getting new ones and once again I noticed that I seemed to be doing quite a lot of quests where all I would do was talk to a guy standing next to the questgiver and get $150 for my pains, which is slightly irritating as the quests that involve half an hour' worth of killing yields something like $300. But judging from some of the new quests that I have received which offer $1000 this won't last too long.

Most of my quests involve going off to a new place called Algernon which sits at the edge of the town. Quickly running through Townston I noticed a couple of other players, some of them were massive with huge glowing axes, I was surprised to see so many relatively low levels (Around 15) having some truly crazy looking armour.
I entered Algernon and started roaming around. The map was quite large so it took a long time to clear the first level. I grabbed some more quests from npcs scattered around the level and was slightly overwhelmed when I realized how many quests I had in a relatively short time. After only just arriving at Townston I had collected over 10 new quests. Most of these were more of the same but I didn't really mind.

I leveled a few more times and randomly sorted the 5 'stat points' that you are given each level to improve various stats. There are agility, strength, endurance, and intelligence. Strength and intelligence are almost useless to me so I pour them into the others.

While trawling the level I came across another portal that lead to another area but not part of Algernon. Once through i thought I had somehow got back to Dew Valley because the scenery was exactly the same, all that was different were the monsters and setting out. Feeling slightly betrayed I finished up with some quests that I had relative to that zone and ported back to Townston. I had hit level 8 now but nothing really has happened out of the ordinary or something that hasn't happened previously in the 8 levels before, but I remain optimistic.
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