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airsoftmanic Blog

My my my, how time flies.....

6th June 2011.

The last time i posted here. i cant believe that amount of time has passed since i last spewed forth my opinion onto the web.

and now that i'm here, what to talk about?

well, final year of my course. going reasonably smoothly, just need to crack on with it and shake off the new year holiday feel.

and alas, my love of games is lost.

not completely mind you, that'll never happen. i talk about my loyalty to the gaming scene.

because i sat back one day and asked. "what truely honourable and like-able games developers or publishers are still left in the world?".

the list that i got back was damn small.

Steam was on there, pretty much a given and i dont think i need to explain why (if you seriously do, ask and i'll post a reply).

Relic, as they have made alot of my favourite games (pretty much all games they have made are in my favourites) and are pretty good at keeping thier games fresh. i recently got back homeworld 2 and the community is still as numerous as when i lost the disc.

the problem with that one is that Relic is owned by THQ, who were going to be in the favourites apart from thier business practise of late in making absurd amounts of DLC and charging pretty steep prices for it (DoW2:Retribution for the most part).

the developers of Sword of the Stars has recently went into this list considering they admit to releasing an unfinished game due to reasons outside thier control, and are patching the game fairly frequently, and has currently been patched to a playable state. i consider these guys to be the best developer around. they release a broken game. but rather than taking the general "LALALALA its not broken LALALALA" approach that some developers do *COUGH*BIOWARE*COUGH*, they blogged that it was a broken game at release, apologised profusely for it, and then spent pretty much most of thier waking hours adding in all the stuff that was meant to be at release. i wish more devs would be this honest about the games they make.

so thats Valve, Relic and Kerberos.

Dice, again, was going to go on for BF3 but from the sheer amount of screw-ups, vagueness about post-release development and thier complete and utter silence on another patch to fix the game to a playable state for many people, i have to resign them to the EA naughty corner.


at this point i run out of companies to remember.

3 companies, out of hundereds.

and i would like you to stick up your favourite developer in the comments, and i will almost certainly (so long as its not a obscure indie dev, i dont count those, or already deceased) be able to find something wrong with said company.

This seriously depresses me as i look back on the last year on gaming and towards the grimness of the future of increasingly "re-used" game designs.

this year there is almost nothing i am looking forward to.

-Guild Wars 2. i liked guild wars 1 ALOT. i am deliberatly not looking at stuff for GW2 until closer the time so i dont hype myself up too much.

-Planetside 2. this may not even come out this year but with a closed beta "soon" im guessing they might just make the christmas holiday. i aint holding back on this one though. i'm trying to gather all the info i can get.

other than these two games, i am completely at a loss for what to get.

ME3 has gone off the list considering Bioware has now completely toppled Activision off its perch as my "Public Enemy #1" for what they have done to ME3 and other games that i am not interested in, but keep a weather eye on as an indicator of Bioware's increasingly incompetant staff load and business policies.

i feel i have got to the point in life where i cant just look that the product i'm getting.

before 2010 i couldn't care less about the companies behind the games, or the ethical and moral issues.

it's the same in tabletop gaming. Games Workshop has been on my bad side for a while for codecies and fluff that have been destroyed, namely my Tomb Kings. and the forever potent "codex creep" and "flavour of the month" armies.

maybe i'm just in a lackluster attitude at the moment as its currently 3:35am and i am denied sleep by the downloader for Star Trek Online, which recently went free-to-play (yesterday i think) that refuses to use my god-like 30MB fiber optic broadband, instead pondering on at 500kb/s.

i'll go to sleep soon, i just dont want to keep my PC on overnight. it tends to get rather moody when it's been on for more than a day. i suppose anyone would.

i'll probably wake up, look at this page and just think "what the hell are you talking about man?".

E3 2011 - EA Conference

well, compared to the cess pool of casualitis that was the microsoft conference, EA have done what any self-respecting company SHOULD do when presenting itself at E3.

the opened up with ME3, with some storyline, some gameplay with a proper controller (no kinect rubbish) and generally gave a proper preview.

then it went onto NFS:the run. didnt pay much attention since this isnt my type of game but at least they kept to the core gamer market.

some Old republic stuff, not interested in P2P MMOs too much, and no gameplay. just the same CGI trailer from before with some new stuff in it.

then the real turnoff, EA sports. i dont know what it is about thier EA sports PR guy, but i just dont like him. anyway, right at the start they say they dont want to bring on any celebrities to plug thier games (dig at MS right there), but then proceed to bring on three Handegg players (colonials will know them as "football" players) to plug thier game. way to shoot yourself in the foot.

afterwards, the proper stuff begins. no, not the sims "have an online affair", Overstrike.

this surprisingly looked like a decent game. the humour had our irc chat in laughter (the fun kind, not the depressed kind like all the way through the MS conference) and looked to be co-op. will have to keep an eye on it in the future.

Now, the big one. BF3.

ive been waiting for this for a while so i was relieved to see i had not been waiting in vein. the visuals are astounding, the gameplay, while nothing new or unique, was solid and immersive. the new destructable terrain looked amazing, no more "smoke and the wall is gone". proper physics, chunks of masonry fall off, buildings reduce to rubble of equal mass as the original structure....the list goes on. i also loved the little digs that the PR guy kept doing against MW3. "free multiplayer", totally "free features". all in all, a good solid conference from EA. Ubisoft in an hour, time for some munchies!

E3 2011 - Microsft "Conference"

Okay guys, so here it is, E3 2011.

and Microsoft. *sigh* oh MS, what were you thinking? that you could get away with it just because Sony had been having a bad time as of late? no, you were bad last year, but you could change. you could better your rivals.

and then Kinect happened.

i have half a mind to start up Xbox anonamyous after that shambles. you didnt even deserve a conference, just as i am not giving you a proper review.

Modern warfare 3 - multiplatform.

Future Warrior - multiplatform.

Tomb raider - multiplatform.

Kinect might as well not have been there.

Halo 4. after specifically saying that it was the end of the halo series storyline, you kick out bungie and insert another company willing to rehash your only saving grace. and that wasn't enough was it? you had to go and HD the original halo because hey, like a fly to poo.

i thought sony was done this year. nothing could excuse thier immense cock up. but microsoft oh-so kindly rolled over and died of explosive retardedness. sony, you have a chance, go out there and show them how the big boys roll. for the sake of the gaming community, you must not fail!

time to waste so here goes top games of 2010

wow ive posted alot over the past few weeks, must be that xmas/new year fever.

anyways since its almost manadatory these days i thought i might as well make this.

right now this isnt a numbered list, nor a bottom to top list. im just going to list what i consider to be the best games of 2010.

so here goes.

first up, Supreme Commander 2.

this game has seen me through some pretty drab times. i put this in my list of "best wind down games" as its one of thosegames you play when you've just finished some tiring raids on WoW, or a game of HoN or whatever. its nice to just comp stomp sometimes, and the style of semi-realism with some OTT sprinkled on is just great, as the first time you field an experimental (for me, the king kriptor wins over all) you just get that warm fuzzy feeling. nukes are not as game ending as TA or supcom1, but thats fine by me.

next, chaos rising.

DoW series has been a great series since 1, and DoW2:CR was a great addition. tbh, most stuff that comes from the Relic/THQ tagteam just seems to end up being gold dust one way or another. for me its added to the list of bests due to adding even more to one of my favourite series ever.

crackdown 2.

now while i dont own this anymore, and will concede that it had some flaws, its co-op experience was unrivalled in 2010.

that alone, as one of my favourite modes (co-op is always better than multiplayer, 'nuff said) earns this a spot in the list

God of War 3.

this had almost everything a single player game needs. a fantastic storyline, a really good character line, tight as a drum controls, great camera angles, awesome boss fights, wonderful gore (come on, who doesnt like a bit of arterial bleeding?) and above all, scenes of pure epicness.

mass effect 2.

sci-fi has always held a special place in my heart, space operas the closest. and to get that in a playable game, is like a dream come true. yes it has issues, yes some of the new characters are as bland as wallpaper paste, but as long as i have garrus and legion at my side, those reapers dont stand a chance.

and i know a game is going on this list when im actually tearing at the bit to find out what happens next.

finally, world of warcraft cataclysm.

this may seem a strange addition, but bear with me.

this expansion pack brought with it the things that WoW has lost over the years.

first is the insane difficulty of some dungeons. when i was playing before cata came out, all the dungeons didnt seem very hard. sure we wiped a few times (well, more than a few) but it was almost always down to lack of attention and a sense that everything was being handed out on a silver platter. not anymore. of the 3 dungeons i have been in, at least 8 runs so far have been wipes. and not to silly mistakes either. just not got enough dps, not enough healing, not enough tanking. as an arcane mage i am the god of high dps, and most of the time i felt like i was just tickling the bosses. even the mobs felt like bosses unto themselves.

the next thing it brought was some much needed discipline. before, i was getting endlessly killed by priests and rogues who were so overpowered it was beyond idiocy. priests could dot you in about 3 seconds and then run off, waiting for you to die slowly, and you would always die since they were too slippery to properly have a fight with. rogues were bordering game allowed cheating. if a rogue decided to kill you, there wasnt a damn thing you could do about it. i never knew why rogues were hated until i was ganked by one. a 3 shot kill with no level difference is what is called in my book the dev teams problem. thats not anything to do with the player, just the devs stupidity.

if you give a guy a gun in a knife fight, its blatant who is going to win.

thats all changed. priests can no longer shy away from fights as dots dont cut it anymore. rogues have been nerfed so they actually have to do some shin kicking with the person they tried to kill. i actually survived a rogue at lvl 85 as a mage. not only survived but killed, that was unheard of before hand.

the last thing is the introduction of proper quest lines. before, quests were all over the place. a quest in one area would need handing in at another, some quests required something only obtainable on another continent.

now that has all changed. the cata quests are beautifully aligned to one another. quests always lead on from one another, the questline never changing to something else before doing something important. and in dungeons, quests are all kept in the dungeons, the pop up that allows quest hand ins at the end without going to the quest giver was just genius.

so there we go, a list of what i consider the best games of 2010. there would have been an honourable mentions ist but its too early in the morning to do one (i draw the line at 2am). so i'll think about one tomorrow.

Saying goodbye to 2010 and the COD series.

well folks, 2010 has come and gone with a few good games, plenty of mediocre ones and alot of bad ones.

i might as well get the greetings out the way so happy new year everyone, dont blow it all on booze!

now onto my thought of the day

i have finally said ou avior to that bastion of foam mouthed-ness, the COD series.

its kind of a sad moment, because i remember the original CODs (1 though 2) being something good, something that had such awesome singleplayer missions i can remember most of them clear as day. the B52 bombing mission from united offensive comes to mind almost instantly.

even the multiplayer was good, even if it was marred by connection issues and the occasional douche.

but now that i have officially cut my experience of Black Ops off, i would like to go over some of the things that have annoyed me so much since CoD4 and beyond.

first i'll start with the singleplayer.

when playing through the old CoD missions, i got the sense that i was moving through the vastness of europe and africa as all the missions connected one after another, which led to an amazing sense of pace. going back to the B52 mission from UO, after that's done and you get blown out of the sky (dont complain about spoilers, the games is too old for that) and you parachute down into occupied europe, whereby the next mission starts.

playing through Black Ops however felt like each mission was done by seperate teams of people with completely different ideas. every mission felt like it was just bolted onto the next with very little in the way of masking the transition. same with COD4, MW2 and even so with W@W to a lesser extent.

but the game breaker for me was that none of the missions were memerable. i can remember loads of missions from the first 2 games, but only a few missions stick out from the others. COD4 had the AC-130, the nuke and pripyat. W@W had the "enemy at the gates" sniping mission. MW2 had the the sniping/sneaking parts and the nuke/emp. but this leaves about 70% of the missions being drab fillers between the jewels.

and i suspect it will be the same for any other cod game. this makes me sad as it just seems to me like they're just churning out the same game over and over and by chance making a decent level.

next up is multiplayer. this is where i have serious concerns not only with the game, but the console community as a whole in the shooter genre.

now you'll get annoying players wherever you go, thats just life. but there seems to be an unhealthy amount of them contained to the cod series. put it this way, if "douchery" was a virus, WHO would have shut down XBL by now.

almost every game we went into, there was always no-scoping, bunny hopping, dolphin diving, aim-botting, controller-modding, douche-tacular hurp-durps (cus a stronger word would get me ban-hammered) almost without fail.

take for example last night (the final night as it were), 2 games a piece on MW2 and BO. MW2 was wasteland and terminal, BO was jungle and launch.

MW2 on wasteland was just horrific, noob tubers with OMA constantly, claymores everywhere, mentally retarded team mates running into obvious kill zones and shooting everywhere. final straw was getting no-scoped across the map by someone facing the other way with the intervention (this was all on killcam) with no UAV who had just finished rapid firing a FAL (obvious modded controller). next map.

terminal, was pretty much an instant leave when the other team had 3000 more points, a chopper gunner, a harrier, sentry guns all over the place, constant noob tubing (again) with OMA, and no scoping sniper rifles with 100% accuracy.

so that was MW2 being sold today.

Black Ops was supposed to be a healthy escape.

on jungle, was blatently lag-switched the whole game (full connection upto the point i tried to kill a certain player, lag all over the place then im dead, killcam shows him with perfect connection turning around and headshotting me while im standing still) and getting sick and tired of having to use nothing but assault rifles because nothing else works.

launch was almost about to redeem BO for the night, saving a trip on top of the return pile, but then as usual, the camping begun. and the ever present mass of retardedness that is your team reared its ugly head and before you know it, the entire USAF was flying over dropping everything but the kitchen sink (not enough room in the bomb bays i expect).

but Black Ops has one redeeming feature, and it most certianly isnt zombie mode. its the practise mode, which is nice just to wipe some defenseless bots off the face of the planet. so while its spared itself for now, when a better co-op game comes out i'll be all over it.

so there we have it, my goodbye to the most overhyped series this side of the 21st century. good riddance.

hopefully 2011 will bring a new light to the shooter genre, but i doubt it (please space marine, release already!)

Black Prophecy Closed beta, thoughts on Black ops and where COD series is going

Hi there fellow carbon-units!

i thought that while im downloading more Black Prophecy patches ill take some time to write a quick blog (because you know how "quick" my blogs are by now) about a few things that i have been mulling over in the run up to christmas.

first off is my participation in the Black Prophecy Closed Beta.

BP is a space combat MMO that was dug up during a skype conversation a while back. from what it looked like on the screens and such it seemed like almost perfection to me. an MMO freelancer game with an EVE online feel to it. so i signed myself up to what i thought was going to be another APB. interesting concept that was going to be marred by poor impelmentation.

when i got my invite i installed the client (which came as an install file of a few KB, with some .Bin files that were a few GB each, which didnt exactly fill me with hope when they havent made a proper installation system yet) and installed all the updates since its release.

while im under a non-disclosure agreement (apparently, i dont remember signing anything with my signature as most legal documents require) so i cannot talk about the game in detail, i strongly advise to sign up *digs up website* follow the beta invitation. its just so good.

and it's going to be F2P, which is like more cake to go with the mountains of cake this game gives already.

now, onto Black Ops.

a few things i want to say to anyone who plays on multiplayer.

first off, please use something other than RCXDs.

this is not saying they are bad, i just want to see someone else actually use something else as their starting killstreak.

i have already played 6 games today and not one person apart from myself had UAVs or Counter UAVs at any point. even a care package has about a 60% chance of giving you either of these things. they also give a good %age of the RCXD.

one game i actually saw a group of RCXDs driving around in a cluster. i do not want to see that ever again. not only would i see that as a cheap tactic, but its not necessary to have more than 2 people on a team with RCXD. at least 2 people need UAVs to have a clue where the other team is.

and i also note the lack of people with blackbirds. this is a killstreak that actually tracks the enemies down and essentially gives you x ray vision. yet again i seem to be the only person putting those up.

next up is splitscreeners. why the hell are there so many of you? i wont go into the fact that you essentialy have a walking gun camera on another part of your screen, or that it sometimes puts split screeners on seperate teams, but just why is there consistantly 1 or more of them in every game i play. this is not so much out of hate as it is curiosity.

and lastly is to anyone over prestige 5. you cheaters. how in gods name have you played this game enough to get past 5? no life? no sleep? do you relieve yourself into that ever-so-handy bucket you incorperated into your seat? are you fed through IV? you honestly cant expect me to play with a prestige 7 on the other team. if i see anyone past 5 i generally just quit. im not playing with people like that.

anyway rant over, you can unplug your ears now.

XBL servers down

Hi Guys,

For those of you that have not noticed (or dont have a 360, in which case laugh it up) XBL seems to be having abit of bother.

just goes to show before you upgrade the end user, upgrade your infrastructure first.

lesson learned microsoft? i doubt it.

anyway, if you dont accept the update you can play offline so catch up on those single players (good for me i got FUII on friday!)

APB, realtime worlds and internet superiority syndrome......

Hi all.

its been a while since my last post about E3 (yeah, i don't have alot of time to write stuff that much) so i thought i might give my views on two things this week.

First up is APB and realtime worlds going bust.

Its sad to hear that a favourite developer is going under, because crackdown was an unloved classic. my reasoning for that was that it got lumbered with the halo 3 beta which while increasing its sales massively and giving realtime worlds the profits to get going as a company, generally meant it was thrown away once the halo fanboys had got thier mitts on the beta card and no one really played it.

APB was meant to be this fantastic game that would revolutionise gaming forever, instead they made a poor excuse of a game, that was never fixed or patched and had only a quarter of the stuff they said it was going to have. they tried to copy WoW, when what they should have been making a GTA MMO with the traditional "gangs vs cops" of the 1930's but in the 21st century. anyway that flopped.

now realtime worlds is drained because they poured all thier time and money into a defunct game that no one played. strange then that they made crackdown 2 with the leftovers and made a better game than APB by miles.

obviously that suffered a case of "halo-beta revenge" so no one played it. anyway, i wave goodbye to a good developer and i hope the staff get jobs in a better managed place.

anyway, now onto my rage space.

this is a case that if you've ever been on the internet forums at large or generally anywhere where people meet on the web with no case of actual ID, you will have encountered it.

it is a disease i have named "internet superiority syndrome".

this is where someone, could be anyone, thinks that they are higher than the other users on the webspace. i must admit, i have had this disease before. what is really nasty about it is that you could have it without noticing it.

my bought of this was on the good old hate generator of WoW. i once vowed never to play this game so long as i had my sanity. well i broke that vow (or lost my sanity, its hard to tell :P) and started it up. well I'm in a dungeon (here comes the case study) and i got really angry at the tank and healer for a) not generating enough threat and b) not healing anyone other than the tank so while im encased in ice so i didn't die i txt-shouted the healer to beep beep heal me, even though most of the party, including the tank were at low health and healer had only enough mana to heal one of us. he chose the tank, i died but they eventually won that encounter and then revived me. of course i was having an eppy fit at the healer for not healing me to which i got the surprisingly calm reply of "if i healed you we would have lost and all had to revive, id rather stay in the dungeon and revive everyone than having to respawn". i then noticed i had a bought of ISS and swiftly apologised.

while this may not seem that bad (and it probably wasnt) its most common and serious breeding grounds are the forums.

its easy to see, just go into a MW2 or Halo3 forum (don't forget your NBC suit) and take a look at the topics. i guarantee you will see a case of ISS.

for example, i was recently looking at the hawx 2 forums. in one particular thread, a user called another user who happened to be an armed forces fighter pilot "a disgrace". now i think you can see whats wrong with that. typical armchair ISS. obviously this is one example out of many but i can tell you now that its not just down to heated debate. some people have this any time they go near a computer.

one of my friends (who shall remain anon for the purpose of remaining a friend) who i skype alot with is who i would call a hard-mode whore. he sees any difficulty below the hardest mode as "casual". so obviously he's an elitist. but he suffers boughts of ISS almost every half hour.

but i played W@W zombies mode a few nights ago and he immediately called me a casual. didn't care that i reached level 25 on Der riese with 8 different P'a'Ped weapons (higher than my previous best of 20 with 2 P'a'Ped weapons), it was casual because it was call of duty. but it would have been fine if it had just been left there. but no, its constant throughout the night. every night. he thinks he deserves all the good loot in WoW because.....just because. he always runs off in co-op games and then blames us when he dies because we were supposed to be "protecting" him. in multiplayer matches with ****restrictions he believes he should have the limited ****because "he can play it better". and even when i have to come off at midnight to go to work in the morning, its the "casual" again.

i know he does not actually mean it, he says it out of reflex. but some people out there do mean it.

even worse types of ISS are the "know-it-alls". the people that believe what they say is right, no one else can be, even if they know what they are saying is wrong.

the cause of ISS is anonymity. because there is no retribution, no one bothers to think before they type. and the first thing that comes to mind is generally your true self thinking to your rules and boundaries. this is generally linked with lack of information and general ignorance.

the cure? getting rid of anonimity would be great, but its way too risky in terms of ID fraud and even would cause murder (imagine posting in a rage thread if your real name and address were part of your profile, i doubt the raging would go on for very long) if it got that heated.

In my own opinion, i don't think we'll ever cure this so long as people are sitting on either sides of a screen on either sides of the planet and talking in a big group.

if anyone wants to comment on ISS or any cases you've seen recently (yes, including yourself :P) then feel free.

Sony conference impressions and beginning of the end for british game makers?

i know this is abit late in coming but ive had to watch through the sony conference again to get refreshed on what happened after a night of heavy boozing.

and damn did sony steal the show.not only did they show more core games than both other conferences combined, but also might just have shown that Move might become successful. now i scoffed when i saw microsofts pathetic excuse to jump on the motion control casual bandwagon, but i definatly shut up when i saw Move in action.

When the Wii detects your movements its kind of in a lazy way. Kinect just doesnt work and will most likely never get true support from serious games. Move on the other hand follows the controller to the millimeter. when he was playing that golf game (i¬¬) it wasnt like wii sports "on rails". where he was putting the controller, it was replicated on screen. this shows that it can be used as motion controls should be used, to let you do what you want to, not what the confines of the game tells you to do.

killzone 3 looked pretty cool and its going to have Move support. that will be interesting to see how an FPS works with the Move controller.

and twisted metal was announced. slap me thrice and hand me to me mama! this game was AWESOME. i hope they can properly replicate the old series to a good degree then i'll be as happy as an ork in fungus.

okay so the E3 report is over now, my american brethren can go on thier way now unless you really want to read the next bit.

well, the so-called "Emergancy budget" was shown yesterday and two things annoyed me.

20% VAT. thats annoying. so something that cost £35 will now be £36, £200 will now be £240 etc etc.

this is annoying since it now have to give the government more tax on something ive bought with my money that i got taxed for earning.

the second thing is that the gaming industry here is having its tax breaks removed. way to go, now they'll just move out of the country and probably end up in america. way to lose more money.

the rest of it was pretty much what most of us tax payers were thinking. blame it on the benefit spongers and banks.

nothing too drastic and some of it i was shocked wasnt already in place. like disabled people gaing disability allowance but without having to go to a doctor for an examination to determine they are indeed disabiled in some way. that'll be fixed in 2013.

overall, the budget was pretty much necessary. and people have been complaining "this isnt the government we voted for". well, we sort of did. enough dimwits voted labour to stop the tories gaining enough seats to overtake the lib dems and gain prominance which we all know was going to happen. so now we have a tory/lib dem coalition which i think is better. rather than one party dictating what it wants, we have the double team so one can say "thats pretty stupid" or "yeah that will work, we'll vote it in" rather than everyone voting against everyone just because they belong to different parties.

damn i hate politics.

Nintendo conference impressions.

urgh, do i really have to do this one? seriously?

one word. CASUAL. words cannot describe how casual this conference was. but nintendo does nothing else so i can bash them for it.

i suppose i could bash them for yet again showing thier aptitude for beating the pool of blood that was a dead horse by not releasing a single original character on any of thier games. but thats predictable as well.

so to sum up the whole conference. nintendo confirms that they are indeed still nintendo.