Battle of the Immortals can do no wrong

Yesterday the developers of BoI announced that they were givin away 5000 ZEN (Cash shop currency) to every single Closed Beta user. This effectively means that everyone playing can have a look at a large number of things on sale in the cash shop. Because I'm on dialup at the moment I can't check how much 5k ZEN would cost in actual money, but it certainly is a significant amount.

This is a very clever play by the developers. They are doing an extremely good job at selling their product, with no ill effects. I predict that a large number more people will be spending actual money on the game now that they have experienced what the cash shop has to offer. Compounded with the early bling, and comfortable leveling pace BoI is shaping up to be a really popular game.

It is also good to hear that the developers are beginning to address the major problems that the community has had, such as tab-targeting , WASD moving and better HP/Mana regen rates. There has been also a lot of complaining about the PvP aspect of the game which I expect/hope will get a revamp soon enough.

This is what I spent most of my ZEN on.
Epic mount + diving suit + wings = awesome!

Playing with explosions


This morning I spent some time messing around with various lighting and explosion effects in Cinema 4D. This hardest part about this sort of stuff is getting the lighting right, so that it looks like th explosion is naturally lighting up the text by itself. The explosion in both these pictures are the same, except the blogging one has a little more small debri. I prefer the "Splode" one better, but I spent a fair bit more time on it. The blogging one was a quicker throw-together. Which one do you like better?

Starcraft 2 design

Just a little summat I knocked up.

I've been watching a ton of SC2 replays on youtube, which I only got into over the past couple of weeks. (Quickly resulting in breaking the download cap :S) Even though I've never played the original I've been sucked in and am thinking of getting one version of Starcraft or another, despite how much I despise Blizzard. :P

Battle of the Immortals ain't doing it too badly

So I have been dabbing my hand once more into the wonderful pool of free MMOs. This time it involved a game currently in closed beta: Battle of the Immortals. Its an impressive name, projecting heroic images of massive champions, legendary battles and perhaps some CSGWWNEDBTSATEAOVGs (Cash shop gods who will never ever die because they spend all their excessive allowance on video games)

The developers have put up a lot a big PR smoke screen underlining how unique their game is and how fun it is, as well as how balanced the cash shop will most certainly be. Undeneath all the fluff stands a game with generic classes, little variation in terms of questing, and a massive push in customisation of gear. And I feel that if the developers play their cards right, this game could be a massive hit.

You see, from what I saw there are over 130 levels, but within the first 30 levels, which anyone can reach in no time at all, everyone had a crazy weapon, a full set of armour including a cape, a mount which looks very nice, and a pet that each player can chose and level up. BoI has the best starting couple of hours in a free MMO that I have ever played.

Eveeryone loves to look like a one-man rave party in their games, but usually getting all the fancy glowing gear takes months of grinding and boredom before someone else jumps the line by getting it all out of the cash shop. With BoI providing some very nice looking items at the very start, it will pull in a massive number of players who are used to starting with a cardboard sword and apron when they first enter the game.

BoI is very much like a Diablo MMO with a high level of gear customisation, and for most players MMOs are all about the gear and showing off. I'm certain the big old F2P MMO grind will appear and smack every player saying "Use the Cash Shop" but fingers crossed it won't be too bad. I'm going to be playing at launch, but I'm not sure how long for or how seriously, but it will be interesting to see how this game developes.

Oh, and I'm making previews on every BoI class which you can check out on my youtube channel.

Deciphering the rage

Okay, so after ranting and raving in the last post (With lovely bad spelling and grammar) I've calmed down a bit.

The reason I was so annoyed was that I saw Blizzard as setting a precedent for selling players fluff for excessive amounts of money. Blizzard are setting precedents in all the wrong areas, as leader of the MMO genre, you would think they would have some shame at what they are creating. To sell a fluff item at an exorbitant price in a pay-by-month game to me seems extremely arrogant and greedy.

That said Blizzard is a business (As I said before) and are there to make money not do gamers any favors. The MMO genre will not improve in any way unless gamers demand it, and in this instance it is clear that commercial gamers are clamouring for the opposite.

Just when you thought it couldn't fall any lower...

News just in: Blizzard are charging 25 bucks for a new ingame mount. That's zero new content for half the price of an expansion, or one of many, many brilliant games. Its hard to get your mind around this situation, with over 115k people lining up to get their virtual mount.

On one hand I jsut want to slap every single one of those 115000+ idiots. Its people like them that are bogging gaming down and holding it back from quality experiences.

Bliazzard, I really want to say its all their fault, but it really isn't. They know its going to make millions with minimal effort, and ultimately they are a business, so it really is down to the players. I made a post a while back discussing how I felt that WoW was holding the MMO genre back from developing and becoming the beast that it can be, and this action just reinforces that.

I'm /facepalming so hard right now, that I can't express it adequately. Ultimately its the customer's fault and it frustrates me no end that these morons are not just buying a fluffy virtual item for a horrendous amount of money, but by that they are setting a precedent which spells nothing but trouble for the general gaming population.

Commercial gaming, if possible, just got worse.

What's your excuse?

A couple of days ago a user on youtube left a comment on one of my videos. In the video I was detailing why I quitting RoM, and he interpreted my bottom line as "the game is boring." He (I assume it was a he) considered being bored with a game obviously to be a completely insufficient reason to stop playing it. But I thoroughly disagree.

A game's purpose is to entertain those who play it, and if it fails on that level then it really failed altogether. If you are not enjoying a game then, seeing as you have no obligation to play it, discontinuing to play it is a very logical and reasonable step. Of course, not every game is going to be entertaining 100% of the time, but most people aren't going to quit a game the moment it fails to interest or entertain them for a single moment.

It also depends on the pacing of a game. The dialogue, story, and problem solving in a game such as Half Life 2 are of a very high level, but could be considered boring compared to shooting baddies. Nevertheless, without the slower sections, the "shooting baddies" section would get monotonous in itself. All good games will slow down their pace at some point, unless the action is absolutely brilliant, the question is whether the slower pace is as enjoyable and entertaining as the faster action.

If none of us quit a game when it became boring and samey, we still would all be playing pong.

Hating on Mythic

Well I wasn't going to make a post on this topic, because it is getting fairly wide coverage in the bloggingsphere, so I'll make thsi relatively brief. Mythic Entertainment recently charged a large number of accounts (Both active and suspended) for a number of subscriptions. People have had over 500 dollars withdrawn from their account. Despite all this Mythic were very quick to respond, saying that they would return the money as soon as possible. Many still have complaints because of the problems the taken money has caused, and the fact that they may not receive their money for weeks due to bank policies.

Now many people on the actual forums are up in arms, including many bloggers as well. Many are predicting that Mythic will be hit heavy by all this terrible press. While I appreciate that many people have been put into a very stressful and frustrating position, I think the blame attributed to Mythic is mostly knee-jerk and unfair.
Attributing this blame to an entire company (Which some say shouldn't be involved at all as EA manages Account Management) is rediculous, when at most it was one employee's stupid mistake, or perhaps more likely, a simple computer malfunction. Attributing the mistake to Mythic as an entire company is illogical and achieves nothing.

All this complaining, in my mind, will likely get that one employee fired, which makes no sense, and just make it hard for Mythic/EA to clear the problem up. It frustrates me no end when people gloss over the fact that this was a mistake likely caused by a single employee or a computer issue.

It hurt people, sure, but give me/Mythic a break.

Messing with 3D text

I'm in love with Cinema 4D. Its porbably my favorite program of all time. Not only is it really powerful, but its unbelievably simple to understand and learn. I've only got the trial version for 22 more days, but am having a blast. The picture below is from following a tutorial, with a bit of my own experimentation on it. Unfortunately the trial version is stuck with a lower resolution.

I'm in love...

MMO post tomorrow!

What I'm playing

Well I haven't posted in awhile so I guess I should drop in a bit of what I've been up to.
I've been having a great time on my little old Runepriest in the WAR endless trial. I love healing in the game because not only do you get to stay alive significantly longer, but it actually feels as though you are doing something. Healers are few and far between in T1, so often I feel that I'm carrying my team by keeping them all alive. Its a little pretentious, but when you get 67k heals in a scenario, about 40k over Destruction's highest healer it makes you think... :P

I'm planning on rolling a Warrior Priest with a friend and twink them out. WPs and DoKs when they are twinked are a trek to kill and running with a friend I predict major butt kicking. So I'm really enjoying the simplicity and tactics of T1 WAR, the Endless Trial is fantastic, and if they allowed you to twink at all the tiers I would definitely resubscribe.

In other news I got Mass Effect, and am moving through it at a leasurely pace. I'm really enjoying it, but I'm not trying to burn through it by any means. I'm playing a no nonense fellow who doesn't like politicians, is good with the ladies, but easily turns on anyone (Except the ladies) if its going to profit himself. Good stuff.
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