Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My MMO List for 2015!

It's been a busy 2014 for me with my daughter being born and all, however I am planning to take somewhat of an interest in a number of games in 2015. Their names and my thoughts on them are as follows.....
Is that you Death..
I've been looking forward to this for quite a while now, it reminds me of so many different games that I enjoyed playing years past from Ultima Online to Diablo and a touch of Dark Age of Camelot too. It's going to be free to play and the developers have confirmed that the in-game shop will be cosmetic only, but if I'm honest I can see some of my coin going into their coffers as I'm a sucker for looking good :p.

The crafting and housing elements should be refreshing and fun, but it's the Guild Vs Guild that I'm looking forward to the most - it's going to be best suited for guild groups of smaller numbers, which is great and there will be times during the day when your land can't be pillaged, so you won't log off to sleep to wake and find your castles and keep razed and your land in the hands of another.

Extra sharp sword!
I am a backer of this title up to the sum of around 55 bucks, which is around 35 units of real money (i.e, Sterling!). The main driver for me wanting to put my own money into a game that was way off at the time, and still is at least a year off now was due to Mark Jacobs. He was one of the guys behind Dark Age of Camelot and I spent many years in my 20's playing and thoroughly enjoying that game. Although he isn't squeaky clean when it comes to some of the failures of DAoC and it's sister game Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning (RIP!) I'm willing to give him another shot at re-creating the lore, community and unrivaled realm pride of DAoC in Camelot Unchained. /fingerscrossed

No obesity here!
I must admit, I never did play the original EverQuest and this was solely down to one of the above linked MMO's (DAoC). I thought about it on numerous occasions, but in the end always ended up in another title. 

Another reason for never dipping my toe into the EQ bath (hmm, ok...) was my disregard for the look of the game - it all looked a little too friendly if you know what I mean. Take DAoC as a comparison, that was not as pretty to look at, but it had jagged edges, chiseled character features and that really did help you immerse yourself into the world - in my mind anyhow.

My main drivers for trying out EQN are notably the look of it which I like, the fact that the whole environment is destructable and also that it's going to be free :).


Saturday, September 20, 2014

It's Been a While.

So I've pretty much fallen off of a cliff, gaming wise, since becoming a father for the first time. I did expect this to be honest as your time does seem to be completely consumed by the little bundle of joy and the spare time you do have, you want to spend it with them.

So, what have I been up to when I've had a few hours spare?

  • Star Wars The Old Republic

I did (note did) have an active subscription to SW:ToR and I did enjoy it when I played it. EA have improved the game with the new housing, new items and what not and if I had 3 or 4 hours a day to play it I'd still be subbed, however I'm not willing to throw £8.99 at a subscription for a couple hours a week.

  • World of Tanks

I enjoy World of Tanks quite a lot, but I have found that the constant grind does wear your down if you're not willing to throw a bunch of gold at it to help you up the hill. I've currently reached tier 8 along the American tree and must admit, I love my T29!

  • The Lord of the Rings Online

I tend to fall in and out of love with LotRO quite easily for some reason. My Fiancee and I started playing it at release and with the Lifetime sub we picked up for her you'd think I'd play it more often than I do, as I get all the good stuff and don't have to pay a sub for it. I also have 20,000 coins to blow on expansions and cosmetic items so that will keep me entertained for a good while yet hopefully.

My only reservation with LotRO is which character to spend my limited time on. I am currently exerting it on a Hobbit Warden, however I have been pondering whether or not to make a fresh char and enjoy the experience again from the start - but we'll see.

  • Others
I've also had a little dabble in a free Ultima Online shard and a free DAoC shard too, but I won't go into those as I've not put much time into them, they were for more rose-tinted reasons :)


Thursday, May 01, 2014


On Wednesday 23rd April 2014 at 15:01 precisely I became a father for the first time when baby Megan came in to this world. What an amazing feeling.

Hey sweetie :)


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Tomb Raider (PC)

When I hear the words Tomb Raider I always think back to when I had my first Playstation games console. I couldn't put that game down when I got it, notably due to it's clever puzzles, intense combat (dual pistols anyone?) or the fact that I would climb up stuff just to swan-dive off, over and over :)

I booted up Steam yesterday and noticed that a revamped version of Tomb Raider was available to purchase at 75% off, so I thought "bargain" and picked it up. What a great decision that was!

It looks amazing. I don't have an exceptionally powerful rig, but I've cranked it up to Ultra under Graphics Settings and runs great and looks spectacular. My only issue is that I can't seem to enable a hair option, which is annoying me so I'll need to research that.

You begin in sort of a tutorial setting where you learn the basics of movement, combat and how to navigate around the world. I use a keyboard and mouse setup and it works really well for me as I have plenty of spare keys to bind to other options. I learn how to dodge, take cover, climb, aim and balance and before I knew it I was progressing nicely and hadn't died once.

That soon changed however, as in my haste I'd decided to choose a Normal difficulty instead of Easy, which did make the things that were trying to kill me a tad smarter, therefore I found projectiles being aimed with expert precision and me having to have my wits about me and select different keys pretty quickly to defend myself. I died quite a few times.

There's a good amount of cut-scenes, but not too many and these gave me a little more clarity of what had happened to have Lara end up here and provided a little background on some of the other characters. Some of which I don't fully trust and others I'm looking forward to meeting.

Having only clocked up about 4 hours /played I'm not sure if I'll be able to dual wield pistols or Tom Daley into lakes from 100 feet but in my eyes it's a really good game and well worth the £3.69 I paid for it.

I do hope I see more sunlight soon though, as all this darkness doesn't half scare me :).


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Gaming Break So to Speak

It's been quiet from a gaming perspective for me so far this year and this has been due to a number of factors, notably:

Dun, dun, dun.....
I will become a father for the first time on or before April 24th! I cannot tell you how excited, but also apprehensive I am about this. I mean on the one hand I'm fulfilling my biological purpose, but on the other I don't want to drop her :). 

No more gitface ;(
Warhammer Online shut down, /sadpanda. I was sad when I heard this news, but it's not like we didn't see it coming - I just hope EA/Mythic get their come-uppance for screwing up such a great IP.

Nice horns.
SW:ToR isn't very good. I did play this on and off during 2013, but always found myself with reasons to not play, whether that be playing some free DAoC or just going to watch telly. Not a good sign.

How many daggers?
Neverwinter isn't very good. I picked this up as a bunch of my e-friends were playing it, but I just couldn't get in to it. It reminded me a lot of LotRO for some reason, but with less appeal and not much fun.

Where my Pen!
World of Tanks lost it's vavavoom and just felt like a massive grind. I played this religiously towards the end of 2013 and did enjoy it, but as the time passed I felt more like a robot than a player just mechanically grinding the EXP to unlock that next tier tank. At that point I lost interest, but I may pick it up again, depending on how good/bad War Thunder: Ground Forces turns out to be.

I hope I can find some time with the new arrival pending to indulge in a little Elder Scrolls Online, Wildstar or next year, Camelot Unchained but we'll see what happens.


Saturday, December 21, 2013

There's no WAAAAAGH Left

It has happened, one of the most enjoyable MMO's I ever played -  Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning has closed. As of December 18th the last WAAAAGH bellowed throughout the lakes, never to be heard again. I have many fond memories of my time in WAR and I made some great friends too so I am sad to see it go, however it had been on the cards for some time so I'm not going to kid myself that it was going to continue battling on.

It was by no means a perfect game, but what it lacked in (and it lacked in quite a few areas) it made up for in lore, looks, game-play and how it made you feel when you logged in - it was like you were part of something greater than just you, a real struggle between good and evil. Yes the PvE was mediocre (although there were some innovative and very enjoyable elements like Public Quests) and it was plagued with bugs, *cough* TotVL, *cough*, but you could forgive that, to an extent because it was so much fun to play and the RvR was unrivaled and still is to this day in my opinion.

Praag RvR in all it's glory! - @Facebook Group
I'm not going to pick up on all of the reasons for it's failure, i.e. Producers talking complete tripe, ZERO (or very, very, limited) communication from the development team after the first 6 months, limited patch cycles, not enough bug fixes or a movement of critical man-power when the game needed it the most. But instead focus on the positives and what I got out of playing the game and the legacy it leaves behind.

Titchy git!
If I had to pick a side I'd have to go for Destruction, and to be even more precise, the Greenskins. The Goblins in particular were just superb, from the way they were animated to the hilarious things they said. I've never enjoyed playing a class so much as I did with that little Gobbo above. Don't get me wrong though, I did enjoy playing Order and rolled many characters, but I always found myself being drawn back to my Greenies :).

Kill or Die, the Choppa mentality!
My Choppa was a close second place, but to really get the best out of this grunt you had to be in a solid group and unfortunately by the time I managed to get him into the higher echelon's the game was already starting to dwindle and guild's/friends were moving on.

I hope that one day I'll find another MMO I enjoyed as much as WAR and with a few promising titles on the horizon you never know, but until then I'll look back and ponder about what could have been if the right people had managed the title all the great times I had roaming the RvR lakes, all the PvE dungeon runs and just chatting to friends in guild chat......... Goodbye WAR, you will be missed, WAAAAAGH!

Here's a really nice tribute video by an ex-player.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Albion Online - My New UO Home?

During my daily searching over the tinterweb for the "next" game/MMO to play I came across Albion Online. It's a medieval sandbox MMO and due for a 2014 release, but it's worth noting this isn't going to be some AAA title, instead it's going to be ported not only onto PC/Mac etc, but also onto Android and IOS.

That thought alone initially put me off, but the more I think about it the more sense it makes, as if I'm not near my PC I can always pick up a table and still get my fix. I also won't be dissapointed I've spent doll-hairs on it as it's going to be F2P.

There will be PvP - Territory based, some player customization and a player driven economy so pretty much everything I enjoyed in UO and everything I really need with an MMO. The interesting thing about this title however, is the fact that there are no levels, nor skill points (UO'esk) but instead you will be defined by the items you wear on your avatar. It sounds a little weird to me, but there are going to be thousands of possible combinations, so that could be very interesting.

Granted it's not going to beat Skyrim in the graphic stakes, but could be a gem. Watch this space!


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

World of Tanks - 85mm Kabooooomy!

Snipey, snipey

I've been playing a lot of World of Tanks of late, mainly due to my enthusiasm for the current crop of MMO's starting to dwindle but also because it's a lot of fun.

I can't think of much there's not to like about the game really, I mean who doesn't like tanks, who doesn't like massive guns on tanks and who doesn't like a great looking environment to stalk in.

It is a Free to Play game and there are usually elements of F2P games that benefit those willing to spend some real life cash on them. WoT is no different, as you are able to purchase certain Premium tanks and Ammunition, however the tanks you can purchase with in-game gold (which is bought with RL cash) are by no means the best tanks in their tier and the ammo you can buy can also be picked up with in-game currency, albeit at an inflated price so it's not as bad as you'd think.

85mm gun is superb for tier 4, 5 & 6

That being the case the only other downside I find is working your way through some of the tank lines can take a long time. Taking my current route as an example, I've just picked up a tier 5 heavy-tank (KV-1) so I'm half way to "max level" and that's taken me a good 2 months of moderate-frequent game play - and that also takes in to account that I've only been focussing on one nation's tank line (USSR). One way I've tried to assist the grind however is by spending a little gold and temporarily converting my account to Premium, thus gaining 50% extra credits and experience each battle. On the flip side you could say that this helps the games longevity.

I envisage myself playing World of Tanks for a long time, it's a great game and really easy to pick up and put down - and once you get into the mid-to-higher tiers the sounds of the tank propelling those shells across maps will keep you coming back for more - Kaaaaaboooom!


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

30th Birthday Tandem Skydive

I reluctantly turned 30 last week and for this I received a voucher for a Skydive off of several loved ones, notably my Fiancee.

I had a 3 days to prepare for this event and, after a wait for the weather to pick up, carried out my dive at ~15:00 on Saturday just gone (24th). Here's how it went in pictures, I'm the terrified one at the front! :)

Not scared, honest...
Freefall time, oh yes.
Come back, plane!
Actually, this is pretty cool.
It's a weird feeling, but it goes so fast.
Main chute pull, I bruised my shoulders during this.
We did some twirls after this, scariest part of it!
I could kiss you, oh sacred ground!
I was a little nervous, apprehensive, scared whatever you want to call it beforehand but I don't think that's unnatural - throwing yourself out of an aircraft at 10,000+ feet isn't normal. I will say though, after touching down and knowing I was on safe ground again, it was an amazing experience and everyone should try it once, if not just for the views you get.

Thanks, Stace. xxx