Giant Bomb’s “Best Game” of 2014, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, was a game that I refused to believe deserved all the praise it received. This game just never clicked for me. I have tried this game on platform it released on, and every time I’m spent before I make it even 2 hours into the story.
Fast-forward to this past weekend, where I happened to sit down and watch The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, apparently out of nowhere (honestly, I think Amazon’s Wheel of Time was scratching a similar high-fantasy itch I was having, but it wasn’t enough). I found myself browsing my Steam library for any LOTR related games. The Lord of the Rings Online and Shadow of Mordor were queued up for install. Something about the Tolkien universe just sucks me in and I want to consume more media from that world once I get a taste of it!
I briefly hopped into the game Sunday night just to get a feel for how it ran and controlled on my new(ish) 165HZ 1440P display. It may be that new-car-smell of the game running at 100+ FPS on a 1440P display, but I was instantly impressed again by the game when I first loaded into the tutorial mission. The controls were snappy and the framerate crispy-clean.
I initially credited my indifference to this game on the “clunky” combat and convoluted control scheme. I will go out on a limb here and say that I still think the controls are too complicated for their own good. Maybe I’m just a boomer and my brain can’t retain information as well as it used to, but I feel like “there’s got to be a better way!”.
Anyways, I streamed some Shadow of Mordor yesterday on Twitch. Before I went live, I did a quick audio/video test. This is what happened. Enjoy.
I’ve begun randomly streaming on YouTube after a break from Twitch. That said, I’m not 100% sure if I’ll switch off of Twitch and solely stream from YouTube. I mean, the streaming deals and contract offers are piling up, don’t get me wrong, but one can’t rush greatness.
I honestly just wanted to see how it differed from the Twitch streaming experience. During these streams I’m going to be giving into this undeniable draw I’ve had to Warhammer & Warhammer 40K by playing some Warhammer and Warhammer 40K games. My first exposure to Warhammer was Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning back in 2008 and I’ve been drawn to the setting since then. I’ve never actually played the tabletop game or painted any miniatures, but I love the world and art of all things Warhammer and WH40K, so I figured I’d make a little project out of trying a variety of Warhammer/WH40K games.
I started out with the aRPG title Warhammer: Chaosbane but my attention has been recently drawn to Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr (and the Prophecy expansion), which is also an isometric aRPG but it seems to have a little more depth and be a little more systems-heavy, which I’m all about.
So, yeah — I look forward to slowly trickling out more and more Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 content over the upcoming weeks and months. Stay tuned!
Preface: This was written on 1/14/19. Until 1/13/19 I had never slid my head into a virtual reality headset. I was a VR Virgin. These are my unadulterated first impressions of the Oculus Rift and the games I played. Enjoy
Yesterday I got to try out an Oculus Rift on a high-end gaming PC for about 5 hours, playing a half-dozen or so games in the process. While playing some WoW and catching up with an old LAN/MMORPG gaming buddy of mine, he casually brought up VR, mentioning that he had splurged on an Oculus Rift last year. Intrigued that I had never tried any form of VR, he invited me over to check it out; he says watching people experience their “first steps in VR” is half the fun of owning it, because you get to relive that feeling and see how other people try to interact with the virtual world they are experiencing for the first time.
A friendly comment on a random news post I made in 2010 may have just inspired me to ressurrect this blog from the dead. It has already spurred me to try and be more active in WoW (and get a class I actually enjoy to level 90), install DC Universe Online, and has me looking into Lord of the Rings Online’s latest incoming patch that’s dropping May 15th.
I may not be ready to commit to my old ways of only playing MMOs, but I’m curious to see if I can get back on the MMO-train while still avoiding the burnout that comes when you don’t just commit yourself to the idea of playing a singular MMO for the immediate future. I’m really wanting to get back into WoW, but I’m not going to rule out dabbling in other MMOs along the way.
So in the meantime, here’s a pretty cool Shadow Priest PVP video that I stumbled upon that helped convince me to transfer my level 49 Gnome Priest to my current server and attempt to make him my new main.
Diablo III hype has snuck up on me. I was only marginally excited about Diablo III after my beta runs of the game, but the more I realize how limited of a vertical slice (not only in content, but mechanics as well) the closed beta was, the more I get super excited about how deep the final product is going to be. So, on this day of my birth, May 14, I say good-bye to all my other installed games. I’ll try and send a postcard from Hell!
With the Diablo III beta coming to a close earlier today, I felt it a fitting time as ever to give my thoughts on Diablo III (more specifically, the limited beta content) and how it relates to my recent-found fondness for Path of Exile.
For those out of the loop, Path of Exile is a free-to-play, isometric, action RPG by Grinding Gear Games that is currently in closed beta. I feel like I have to give that little “what is” spiel every time I mention Path of Exile because it seems PoE is being unfortunately overshadowed by the Diablo III launch hype. It’s a shame really, because I think the people who would enjoy PoE the most are the same people who played the Diablo II ladder for all these years leading up to Diablo III. PoE is a straight up, no holds barred, homage to the Diablo II era of isometric, hack’n’slash, role-playing games. There are times when I’m playing PoE that I have to seriously stop, do a double-take, and say to myself “yep, they just did that,” as I note something that is a whole-hog taken from Diablo II and implemented slickly into PoE. Some quick, off the top of my head examples are the UI, the inventory (item tetris…with no auto-arrange), and the overlay map (why did you change this Blizzard?!). At the same time, PoE isn’t just a rehash of Diablo II; there are plenty of new additions, innovations, and sharpening of mechanics that make PoE a worthy alternative to Diablo II or Diablo III. The combat feels super tight and the flow of enemies as you venture into unexplored areas seems endless at some points; you never really feel safe. The skill system is unique, in that your abilities/skills are encased in color-coded gems that you socket into your items at will. These gems level independently (as long as they’re in a socket and the item is equipped) from your character, and from what I’ve seen so far, are mainly retrieved through quest rewards. And of course, the thing that sticks out to me the most about PoE is the robust skill tree.
The skill tree in PoE is absolutely breathtaking. It is easy for people to dismiss the PoE skill tree as “just a bunch of boring passive stat gains,” but I think that’s sidestepping the point. If you’re an RPG gamer like me, you live off the stat changes, passive skills, and advancement of your character being dictated by player choice. I don’t care what the hype says, Diablo III has less choice than Diablo II had and drastically less than PoE has. I’m not saying this is an objectively bad or good thing, I’m just stating it and I think people should accept it like I have. The counter-argument is that the “choices you do make (in Diablo III) are more exciting and noticeable.” I’ll humor that argument, but it can’t be proven until May 15th. The Diablo III beta was just too small of a vertical-slice of content and levels to actually see any of the intricate skill/rune builds play out. Maybe I’ll take back all I’m saying a month from now. Maybe I’m just a sucker for skill-trees and the visual representation of choice and advancement that Diablo III has removed.
I’ve been in both Diablo III and PoE closed betas for about equal time, and I have definitely put the majority of the time between them into PoE. Despite Diablo III having obviously less content unlocked, I still believe my time spent in PoE is telling of how I feel about the games. I’ve barely scratched the surface of PoE, having yet to dive into any of the advanced “Leagues” or get a character past the level 15-20 range, yet I’m already sold on this game. My first play-through of the Diablo III beta left me with the epitome of “meh” in my gut. There was nothing grossly wrong with it, but I think I was just expecting something more. I’m a strong believer of judging a game by what it is, not what it is not, and with that in mind, Diablo III should be a fantastic game and I’ll definitely be taking advantage of my WoW Annual Pass free copy of Diablo III come the 15th of May, but I’m extremely interested to see how I feel about it, especially next to PoE, after the “meh” taste it has left in my mouth.
While I start to get my feet wet with FRAPS and video editing I’ll be uploading some very rough edits of footage I’m taking from random games. The first game I tested this in was Counter Strike: Global Offensive beta, which I happened to get into yesterday as well.