Maroxad / Member

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Maroxad Blog

Open Letter to the angry fanboys at SW

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Dear rabid System Wars fanboys,

Here is how to not look like a fool when "debating".

1. Avoid ad-hominem and personal attacks, they say a lot more about you than the person you are attacking.
2. Refute the points, don't just disagree. Explain why he is wrong or why you disagree.
3. Don't tell *insert mod here* to lock threads because you disagree with it.  

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Actually, disregard this whole letter, I want to continue laughing at you.

Best wishes, from Maroxad.

Guild Wars 2 is a massive disappoinment

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I was going to review it on youtube, but I have the tools to do that atm.

Gameplay

The gameplay in GW2 while not as restrictive and limited as that seen in most modern themepark mmos such as WoW, still feels very hollow and plastic. The crafting feels half assed (still better than average though), and the questing is still a bore. Dynamic events repeat all too often removing any illusion you had of being able to influence the world. Levelling past level 30 feels pointless and the level cap of 80 feels like it is that high for the sake of being that high. Compare this to WoW for instance where you would learn cool new abilities from level 1 all the way to level cap, as a result each level felt a lot more rewarding in WoW than they do in GW2. There is no reason for the level cap being 80. Too still give me some feeling of progression between 30-80, I had to take my skills in a very linear order. On the bright side, character customization (equipment/traits), has a lot more depth to it than what the competition has.

Combat

Like most themepark mmos, GW2 is centered around combat. GW2's combat is unfortunately to say the least... crap. Ok, sure it beats the typcal guitar hero with fireballs that most hotkey combat mmos use. But ultimately, the combat still feels very shallow, and just spammy. PvP has some depth but even the game's PvP is ultimately weak compared to Guild Wars 1 and that is not even bringing up far better PvP games out there. Underwater combat is atrocious, and I dread doing underwater events. Plenty of encounters in dungeons does not do a good job taking advantage of GW2's mechanics, and the dodge mechanic was implemented in the most boring way possible.

Music

The sound is quite possibly some of Jeremy Soule's worst. And with 2 exceptions, the new music is awful. It is no wonder a lot of the soundtrack was copy pasted from GW1. Thankfully, players can change the soundtrack. I didnt like how i heard the same music no matter where I went.

Misc Mistakes

  • Arenanet seems to be more focused on adding forgettable one time content as opposed to fixing some serious bugs and exploits out there.
  • Arenanet seems to be far too banhappy.
  • Forcing players on the personal drivel
  • They made it too easy, go back to BWE1 difficulty please :D
  • Not allowing for a very customizable UI, want to move around the skills on your weapon hotbar? Too bad. Want to hide the personal drivel that is rubbed in your face whenever you play, too bad you cant, it will take up a good portion of your screen and have a constant reminder on the minimap.
  • Obnoxious anti bot techniques that gets in the way of legal players.
  • Making each and every player an unlikable deuche. Thanks to random comments such as "I can outrun a centaur" and "Talk to me, NOW!" (that was my guardian btw, who was supposed to be honorable and virtious). In EverQuest 2, you had multiple voices per race you could choose from.

What they got right

  • Removed the holy trinity. While roles themselves are fine, the holy trinity is a HORRIBLE implementation of the role system that are always anti-tactical and makes the foes dumb as bricks. Gone is the need for positioning, formations and tactics with a combat system that allows for an injured tank to get back to full heatlh with ease. Where the healers can heal the tank without any risk of getting attacked themselves.
  • Level scaling. You will always be one level above the encounter, you temporarily delevel when you visit areas lower level than you. But your rewards are scaled up. So it wont be a complete waste of time.
  • Itemizaiton. Instead of just having one PvP set and one PvE set, or one set for each role, each class has multiple viable attributes.

On the bright side, it is still way better than anything else that has come out in the genre for a long, long while. Since WoW, in fact (GW1 was not an mmo).

Injustice

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So I did an exam earlier today. For most of the part it was pretty damn easy.

But around halfway through the exam, something hit me. I started thinking of my old co-workers back at my part time job. The fact, that I am here studying and getting a future whereas they are stuck in a rut stuck with a job that pays them less than 1000 dollars a month.

The fact that I will study software engineering, getting a real job and one that pays more than all 3 of my co-workers behind. Now it is not the fact that my future salary is much higher than theirs that bothers me. Instead what bothers me is the fact that it is not their fault they were stuck with crappy jobs like those.

You see, I have Asperger's Syndrome, and so did 2 of my coworkers, but there is a huge difference between us. While I was put in normal classes since I began school (I even began one year early), they were put in school suited for mentally deficient students simply put because they had Asperger's. I wasnt diagnosed until my early teens and when I was in school there I was effective enough already in school to prove that I can study with normal people. Yet my co-workers didnt have this opportunity. They were judged before they were even given a chance to prove themselves and sent to schools where they had no opportunity or chance to make something out of themselves, heck, they didnt even learn algebra. I highly doubt they are stupid because while I was working with them, they learned a LOT from me, they learned algebra, they even learned some calculus, they learned sequences, they learned science, history and even some philosphy from me. As ignorant as they were (thanks to the terrible schools they went to), they learned real fast, and if they had studied at a proper school, I am sure they could have made something out of themselves. Yet, they are stuck there in the rut, being seen and treated as mentally deficient subjects.

And here I am, in college, studying engineering.

Really makes me wonder, if we had switched roles in life. What would they have done with their lives if they had not been met with prejudice since early childhood and what woudl happen to me if my parents had discovered I wasnt neurotypical and put me in a bad school?

Of course, it is not just people with traits like Asperger's who are not given the education and opportunities they deserve. There are hundreds of thousands... no millions of people in poor and underdeveloped countries not given the chance that I or many others were given. Why, because their country cant afford their education, or prioritizes on other stuff... like warfare.

I know one thing for sure, I know that I am lucky to be given these chances in life, and there is no way I am gonna waste these chances. I must make the most of my time here in college, and not only that, I must make sure I make the most out of what I can learn, not only to better my own life, but also to better the lives of those around me. I want to use what I learn here to help humanity, I owe the world at least that much.

The decline of Computer RPGs

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Old School

  • Fully customizable party members
  • Copies sometimes coupled with goodies
  • Low level caps, sometimes lower than 10
  • User Interfaces and controls were hardly perfect
  • Combat is turn based
  • Dying could have serious consequences

Middle Ages

  • A lot of real time with pause games
  • Greatly improved user interfaces and games are much more accessable
  • Some levels of level scaling, but nothing overly intrusive
  • Fully customizable PC, sometimes party members were fully customizable too. Baldur's Gate allowed for both.
  • Dying could have serious consequences

The new ****

  • Action combat is favored with the occational RTwP
  • Full heal and mana after each battle, fallen party members are ressed
  • Dialogue trees replaced with voiced protagonists and 3 dialogue options
  • Tactical combat=MMO combat, complete with tactics killing elements such as threat mechanics
  • MMORPGs have obscene power scaling with level 90 WoW characters having over 1000 times more hp than a level 1 character
  • Rise of the Single Player mmo, ripe with kill 10 rats quests
  • Even the PC is not always very customizable anymore
  • Cooldowns and procs causing players to play the UI as opposed to the game

To Hell with Valve

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  1. Half Life 1 is released, game is pretty good
  2. Half Life 2 gets released. Complete with godawful gunplay, weak story (good for FPS standards), drab, half assed and tacked on physics puzzles, unskippable "cutscenes" and awful vehicle sections. On the bright side the encounter design was good. Episode 1 is rubbish and episode 2 is not much better.
  3. Valve starts charging europeans in euro where 1 dollar is 1 euro for most games.
  4. Team Fortress 2 and portal are out. Portal was insultingly easy, incredibly short and just uninteresting. However, Team Fortress 2 was good mindless fun.
  5. Useless features get added onto Team Fortress 2, unlockables, all that kind of crap. Still fun though.
  6. Mann Conomy Update putting an item store in the game, some items cost over 10 dollars. For 1 dollar you can have 5 duels. Game is no longer fun.
  7. The whole DOTA 2 controversy kicks in.
  8. Portal 2 comes out, somehow even crappier than the originall. Features day 1 dlc.
  9. Counter Strike GO was even considered to have PC/PS3 crossplay. Thankfully they changed their minds.
  10. Mann vs Machine update, terrible launch. And playing on the official servers costs 1 dollar for 1 tour of duty (which is 7 matches long)

Diablo 3 is mediocre, and a huge let down

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Story: Diablo 3's story is one of the worst I have ever endured in gaming, the story was offensively bad with stupid characters, plenty of plot holes and extremely predictable and cheesy. Not to mention, Tyrael. Thankfully, Story isnt a big part of the Diablo series.
Combat: Combat is still crappier than what the isometric ARPG Nox had a dozen years ago.
ArtstyIe:While visually appealing, I don't feel that this artstyIe belongs in a Diablo game.
Runes and Skills: Very poorly balanced, especially the runes.
Pacing: Normal is insultingly easy, and as a result, just isnt fun. So that means a few hours until you can actually have fun.
Bosses: With the exception of Belial, none of the bosses were any fun to fight. They completely butchered the butcher.
Class balance (or the lack of it): There is a reason monks and especially barbs are complaining. Thankfully this might be fixed soon.
Service: Online is laggy and the fact that you are forced to be online makes matters only worse.
Lack of Permanency: All that seperates your char apart from the other is his/her name, gender, class, level and itemization.

The Killing Blow, the Itemization: To say that Diablo 3 has a bad loot system would be a compliment to it. The itemization in Diablo 3 is by far the worst system I have ever seen in a loot based game. Gone are the interesting items and bonuses for you to collect, gone is the sense of any form of customization via gear. Not to say there aren't plenty of affixes around, but only a few of them are actually worth it. Unless said item has the class stat, vit, resist all and resist X... don't bother. The gearing up and itemization in this game is so insultingly linear and so simplistic so that getting new gear just wasn't any fun. Seriously, there are shooters with more sophisticated loot systems than what Diablo 3 has.

tl;dr get Torchlight 2 and Path of Exile instead.

My opinion on RPG classes and archetypes

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Warrior:Goes up and beats **** up. Basic, simple and yet, totally awesome. Usually used to soak up damage and protect squishies. Not much to say really.

"Rogue": AKA, Warrior in leather armor. May use stealth to inflict heavy damage once during a fight, will probably have high evasion and crit rate as well, but really you call these rogues? Last time I checked, Leather Armor was pretty common among soldiers as well (considering plate mail wasnt exactly cheap), furthermore, use of stealth in combat is pretty much done by anyone, not just a rogue. The Rogue archetype really doesnt feel like a rogue or thief atm. Why does a rogue specialize in combat? A rogue should focus on theft, and possibly infiltration and sabotage. Also, the stealth mechanics themselves are terribly implemented, instead of actually sneaking around, you just cast this invisibility spell on yourself. How about an RPG where you can use sound, disguises, camoflauges, diversions, light and dark as opposed to just this invisibility spell. As bad as I may think the game is Skyrim does get points for at least trying with a proper stealth system, too bad stealing is utterly pointless because money literally grows out of trees in that game. And any loot you can find will easily be inferior to what you can craft.

Mage: Mages are a special breed of archer who can shoot projectiles without the use of a bow. They may also carry a CC skill, and have a mana pool, which probably wont run out anyway. As you can probably guess, I am not happy about the modern mage in RPGs. If it were up to me, mages would not focus much on doing damage and instead serve as a more support role, both in combat and especially out of combat. Furthermore, I think mages should have a much more limited "mana pool" so they wont fling spells around like there is no tommorow. Why? Because like anything awesome, magic becomes routine, mundane and ultimately boring, if we see a spell being flung around every second. If it were up to me, mages would be the awesome but impractical kind of character.

Priest: A mage whose spells heals others instead of doing damage. Not at any single point did I feel like a priest while playing as one, I just felt like a mage with a different role in combat. Also, what kind of god casts that many miracles anyway? I swear, your average priest casts more miracles in one fight than Jesus Christ did in his whole lifetime.

As you can probably see, I am not particulary happy about 3/4 archetypes. And I think the issue with all 3 of them is that they are too combat focused. These classes have so much out of combat potential, yet I never see it get used.

Oh my god. The Last Story is actually quite good.

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First impressions, I am 4 hours in.

  1. Story and writing is superb for JRPG standards. The narrative is in particular.
  2. The pacing. Omg the pacing. Enemy variety is quite good, and there is EXTREMELY little filler content.
  3. The game has surprised me in a few parts. An optional thing I did in chapter 4 (I think) was later on brought up 3 chapters later.
  4. Encounters, I actually look forward to fighting. The fighting is generally fun,
  5. The political stuff going on in early chapters, with noticable tensions between classes, and nobles conspiring for power.
  6. You can dye your gear. I made sure all my male characters were wearing nothing but pink and white gear.
  7. Parties can be composed of more than 3 members, in some parts I have actually had 5 people at once.
  8. The only real issues I have with the game are the frame rate and linearity.

So far, I am definately enjoying this more than I enjoyed Xenoblade.

Why I stay on this site

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While I am not particulary happy about many things that happened recently with this site. Whether it is the reviews which I find myself disagreeing with more and more, the lame bandodger alts, the news which are almost always way too late, the glitches on the forums. I still stay here.

Why? Because of you guys, while I am not particulary happy about everyone on this site, there are a lot of quality posters, decent people and people I overall enjoy spending my time with, whether it is on the forums, chatting with them on steam or playing with or against them in a multiplayer game, I enjoy spending my time with you guys.

Just yesterday, I spent my time playing Guild Wars together with a fellow system warrior, beating a third of a campaign together. It was a great time and a good way to get to know him better.

My opinion on controversial Diablo III changes/additions

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No LAN: Considering how connections here in rural Sweden suck donkey things. Just yuck, yuck, yuck. I am certainly not looking forward to fighting diablo and the moment before he dies, me and my friends all get disconnected... sigh.

RWT: Overall a good thing, whether you like it or not, RWT was huge in Diablo 2 and will be huge in Diablo 3 as well. Obviously trying to fight it wont work, instead they make it less terrible. For starters, scamming will be a lot less common, not only that but now with the RMAH, the products will now advertise themselves in the RMAH, so the actual gold farmers get competition from actual gamers now, in addition. Also, now you can make money from playing Diablo, yay!

With that said, since buying items with real money is now a lot easier to do, I am sure the amount of people who buy items will greatly increase. Furthermore, I do think think they should have done like EverQuest 2 with Exchange servers and Non exchange servers. So RMAH characters and non RMAH characters. That way, those of us who dont want to play with RMAH'ers can.

No Stat Allocation: All attributes did was to screw people over anyway. Enough STR to equip what they need, enough dex to max out block, rest on vit. Also, with no attributes involved, balancing classes should be easier, as there are less factors to consider. While I would prefer an attribute system that actually works well, removing the attribute system is definately better than keeping the broken stat system.

No skill trees: Another thing I like, I always prefered what games like Pokemon and Guild Wars did. There is still customizaiton, you have to select between 6 skills and you can customize each of your 6 skills towards 5 different paths through the rune system.

I can't wait to try out Diablo 3 myself, not all changes are for the better. But overall, I am very happy what Blizzard are doing with it.

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