sieg6529 / Member

Forum Posts Following Followers
1585 271 134

sieg6529 Blog

Why Gaben why?

I haven't posted in over 2 years but I need to vent hard. The Meet Your Match update to Team Fortress 2 is just...just awful. It's been out a while now, and there was a big update yesterday but Casual is still awful. Queue times are still measured in many minutes, there's no way to select a specific map, and the worst thing is that they actually made team balance worse! I've given Casual a fair shot (which means I spent more time waiting to play than actually playing!), and in every.single.match I've played, it ends up with a 12 vs. 9 which quickly atrophies into a 12 v 3 which quickly becomes a dead server with a few tryhards on each team going at it. I know, I stuck it out a few times. A lot of hate was directed at the abandonment penalty, which could have worked but not if players are spending 5-10 minutes just to play. Who wants to spend 10 minutes to play a match that's horribly imbalanced and then have to determine whether or not it's worth the abandonment penalty? Basically, Casual is unplayable and they need to bring back pubs.

TF2 needed fixes to team balance mechanisms, no doubt about it. Valve could have looked at what some of the community servers have done to address these issues, like team change blackout times after a scramble to # of players per class. Those alone would have done wonders, and I don't dispute that some incentive was needed to push a PTFO mindset. For example, I just started playing League of Legends (a terrible idea, I know) and it has a strong sense of PTFO. Perhaps too strong, and it is certainly a more straightforward type of objective, but it's there. So I get that having players be focused more on the objective than getting kills would be a good thing, but what we got was a hamfisted attempt to copy Overwatch. It's like they put no thought into how to incentivize players to play the fekkin objective of their own volition rather than trying to force it. Which lends credence to the oft-repeated theory that the TF2 devs don't actually play TF2 nor do they even consult with those who do (except perhaps comp players). Perhaps tying objective completions to things like MvM vouchers or access to competitive or even "community challenges" would have encouraged people to play as a team. Valve tried the stick, not the carrot, and if not for a few Skial servers I wouldn't even play anymore. Even those are extremely limited to the favorites like harvest, hightower, and 2fort. Feel like some nucleus? Nope.

zombie jake?

Following up on Divine Divinity, I just finished Divinity 2: Developer's Cut. It was a really fun game with beautiful environments, but I can't help but feel it could have been an amazing game if they'd put a little more polish into character animations, faces, and voices. Also, I'm glad I never played Ego Draconis because that original ending, without Flames of Vengeance, would have made me pretty POd.

Sounds like Divinity 3 is going to be a Diablo/Torchlight style game, which is too bad because I loved the open world of Divinity 2. Dragon Commander disappeared off Steam, so I don't know if I'll play that at the $40 price point.

Oh, and my super-expensive mega computer isn't loading the BIOS. Hopefully it's just my old, no-name PSU that I was planning to upgrade anyway.

backwards gaming

In my ongoing effort to play the games that nobody is still playing, I've put about 30 hours into Divine Divinity, a game that was released over 11 years ago. I'm not doing this because I'm a hipster, or I prefer squinty small character graphics. No, I'm doing this so I might understand what the hizzel is going on in Divinity 2. I could have used wikipedia, I know, but that doesn't feel right. So I'm doing it the traditional (hard) way.

It's very similar to Neverwinter Nights (they came out within a few months of each other), from viewing angle to plot angle. That's not a bad thing, but it's a thing. The game starts out very hard. You run around with almost no equipment hitting skeletons with a "cracked club" or whatever other garbage you can find in the first dungeon. It would probably still be hard for me if I hadn't taken a scorched-earth approach to the first map, revealing every square inch of the map and purging it of enemies. Now that I've basically killed everything, I'm strong enough to handle the main quest in a relatively stress-free manner.

Still, 30 hours in and the lore is still not quite clear to me. If I don't get some freakin' context soon, I might just wiki it.

fool's hope

It's been a couple of months...not much other than a deep dive into TF2 again. Damned Halloween got me good. Many hats acquired, cheevos piling up...still found time to play Darksiders 2 finally. Overally, I liked it, but knowing that the developer is now out of business made it bittersweet. The game itself was really well built, and the world progression was very good, but it definitely felt rushed at the end. The first two worlds were huge, while the last two were small. The final boss wasn't nearly as compelling, and the story, while progressing the overall narrative, didn't grab me as well as the first game. I hope there's third, but I don't know if Nordic will stay true to the series. I've heard rumors of an MMO, which would kill the series for me entirely. Strife and Fury are a lot less interesting than War& Death; I don't know if you could do a 3 and 4 featuring Strife and Fury. So I would think the best way to do it would be to have Darksiders 3 finish the story using all 4 characters in one big (and I mean really big) finale.

One can hope, but that didn't work out so well for me with the Legacy of Kain.

signs I'm getting to old to play online

  • Accusations of autism have now apparently become the default insult for "edgy" kids.  It's baffling to me; whatever happened to calling someone you dislike an @-hole?
  • Preponderance of squeeky voices.  I definitely played some violent video games (Wolfenstein, Mortal Kombat, Doom II) before I was an adult.  However, my parents didn't let me play any of those before I hit puberty, which was probably a good idea.  I notice this frequently in Team Fortress 2, which may be cartoonish and comedic, but it's gory as hell and I wouldn't let any kid of mine play it before they at least hit adolescence.  
  • I do not get half of the pop culture references.  I've never seen Spongebob or MLP, never played Pokemon, and I can't foresee a future in which I would.  
  • The idea of nostalgic gaming has shifted dramatically - when people refer to Halo as a childhood favorite, I know I'm old.

that one series

Grand Theft Auto 5 is getting everyone all hot and bothered.  I've never really understood the draw to these games.  I played a fair amount of GTA 3 in college, and I remember it was fun for awhile.  But after so many hookers mugged, cops evaded, and mass murder, it got old.  The most fun we had ever was trying to get a hijacked semi to do a big jump off a ramp, over the pier, and onto the dock.  I'm sure the newer games have added new features, but the core seems pretty similar.  I think I'll pass, since it is clearly not a game for me.  

Sigh, so many unplayed games and here I am playing Team Fortress 2.  

you will call me DOCTAH

I enrolled in classes again, and this time it's for my PhD.  I already make a decent salary, but I know that if I want to grow in this company, I need to get my doctorate.  All the higher-ups have them, and all our new scientists have one too.  It sucks that I have to get caught up in a degree arms race, but around here it's just par.  It's going to take a long time, probably 4-5 years since I'm still working full time, but my employer will pay for it and maybe even find a way to make a work project thesis-worthy.  At least now I can stop taking calls from recruiters.  


It's sad when I didn't buy many games for the Steam Summer Sale this year...because I bought most of them last year...and still haven't played 90% of them.  I did catch up on my PS3 backlog, which is down to FFXIII and Red Dead Redemption.

I'm about to walk away from Dragon's Dogma, Dark Arisen.  I've beaten Daimon once, don't know if I want to trudge through Bitterblack once more to beat him in his "awakened form".  From what I've heard, it's just an extra challenge for people with over-powered me, and I am ready for new fare.

So why do I again find myself playing Team Fortress 2???

RIP my good chemistry teacher

My father informed me that my chemistry and physics teacher from high school (circa 2000) just passed away at 59.   I hadn't seen him in a decade, but last time I saw him he was trim and fit, still rock climbing even.  He was a great teacher, one who solidified my interest in the sciences that led to me becoming a scientist by trade.  He also introduced me to the joys of Monty Python and the music of Tool and Van Halen.   What makes it even sadder is that he just retired 2 months ago.  Oh well, now he can get on with his work as a med school cadaver.  Though he didn't believe in such nonsense as the afterlife, I'm sure he took pleasure in life knowing that he would creep people out in death.  


Update:  No med school heebies nor jeebies for my good teacher.  But I heard that they played lots of Pink Floyd at his service, which is cool.  

Touring Tuscany

Back from a nice long European vacation, and I am dying to revisit Assassin's Creed 2.  Why? Because I got to romp around Florence, San Gimignano, and the Tuscan countryside.  It was wonderful.  We also spent a few days in Austria and Finland, which were also great.

Of course, the euphoria faded quickly upon returning to work.  Two weeks worth of emails, a half dozen "emergencies", mid week return, and jet lag combine to make a miserable return to reality.

I also realized upon my return that I really didn't beat Dragon's Dogma prior to leaving.  Sure, I killed Grigori, but I didn't realize the post-game was a whole different ball game and that the New Game + had to be earned in the gauntlet of the Everfall.  So it's like I was gifted a new game upon my return!

Chianti with San Gimignano in the distance