Archive for the ‘Gaming’ Category

Alright. It’s definitely been a while. Essentially, I have a terrible habit of procrastinating. Also, remember that video that was working on? When I lost all the footage and started from scratch I kinda got a bit discouraged. So everything got pushed to the side for a little while. Hoping to pick things up in the new year. On top of the usual gaming stuff that I would rant about I have some more things I’ll be adding to the list.

My new thing to rant about is Warhammer 40k. I’ve played a bit off and on for the last few years using a friends army. Earlier this year he got me a 500-ish point army to start me off. I’ve built on it ever since and have a pretty solid 1500-2000 point army list. There are still a few things that I am borrowing that I need to purchase but that should happen soon. I’ll be putting up pictures of my progress in painting my army. I’m a decent artist when it comes to drawing but painting has always been a problem for me. So it’s not the best paint job. I’ve definitely seen worse but I would like to get better. Seeing as I play Tyranids which is a horde army that uses a lot of models, hopefully I’ll get better as I go through. I probably should have started painting some of the smaller infantry models instead of jumping right in and painting huge Monstrous Creatures with a ton of little details on them.

Between working on WH40k stuff and whatever else real life throws my way I haven’t actually had the chance to play a lot of games lately either. Even these past few days where I had planned to just sit here and blast through a bunch of games, I’ve instead found myself painting models and watching WH40k Battle reports. Which I plan on doing once I get my army fully painted and have a decent table set up with terrain and buildings.

As usual I’ve been playing a bit of WoW. Not as much as I normally do. Fallen behind a bit and have some catching up to do. I’ve also been playing Borderlands 2. Finally. Just picked it up on Steam last week. Huge fan of the first. Played through it a bunch of times. Not all that far into BL2 yet but it really is pretty awesome and fun as hell. Also grabbed a game called Faster Than Light. This game is so good that any words that I try to think to write about it just don’t seem to do it justice. It’s this epic space battle game where you travel from sector to sector running form rebels. No game is ever the same. All the encounters and loot you pick up along the way are randomized. It can actually be quite challenging sometimes if you happen to get through a few of the first few sectors and don’t really find anything to upgrade your ship. Then suddenly this behemoth of a vessel just wrecks the hell out of you. You can also get boarded and have to fight off the intruders which can be a pain in the ass sometimes while simultaneously repairing your ship and fighting off an enemy ship. It’s ridiculously good. Definitely check it out. Faster than Light official website.

That’s all for now. Just wanted to toss out a quick update. Thanks for reading folks. See you in the new year. Cheers!

-FMG-

Hey folks. Today I’ll be writing a bit about the last World of Warcraft Expansion, Cataclysm. With the release date for Mists of Pandaria quickly approaching, and the release of the cinematic trailer at GamesCom today, I must say that I am pretty stoked. Now I will admit that the trailer wasn’t as epic as the Wrath of the Lich King one but its was still pretty cool. I’m really excited to see how the new talent system works. I’ve messed with some different builds on the talent calculators just to see what I think i may like but only time will tell on that. There’s gonna be plenty of time to talk about MoP in the coming months so I’m gonna get to ranting about Cataclysm.

Now there really was a lot of wicked content to check out in Cata. The entire two original WoW continents Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor both got completely revamped. They look wicked as hell. Personal favorite change to the look is the giant fissure in the middle of the Barrens. Looks awesome. What this redesign of the original continents did was allow Blizzard to completely rework the level 1-60 content. While I am a huge altoholic and didn’t mind leveling a bunch of characters I did feel that certain zones seemed to drag on forever. I definitely understand a lot of people’s points of view that the leveling process was painstakingly boring. The 1-60 content is now some of the best stuff in the game. They definitely learned a lot about quest design over previous few expansions and I felt that they made questing in Azeroth much more fun.

The zones to get from 80-85 definitely had a lot of really cool stuff and some stuff… Not so much… I really enjoyed some of the new zones and others I couldn’t wait to be finished with. The ones that I enjoyed were, Mount Hyjal, Uldum and Twilight Highlands. With Hyjal I just found that for the most part the quests and story lines were pretty cool. For most of my 85s I leveled through there instead of Vashj’ir. Twilight highlands I also really enjoyed because there was planty of really cool questlines there. I especially enjoyed the quest line towards the end that dealt with Alexstrasza and the Wyrmrest Accord. Always enjoyed the Wyrmrest stuff. My favorite zone back in Wrath of the Lich King was Dragonblight.

In Uldum a lot of players felt that control was taken away from them and didn’t enjoy all the cinematic breaks that happened. I am completely fine with the more cinematic experience. I felt that it really help to immerse me in the story for the zone and what was going on. The Harrison Jones quests were pretty damned funny. I do understand why some people wouldn’t like the more cinematic approach. Some people just don’t care about the story and want to tear through to max level as fast as they can. That’s cool. I get that. For me even tho I just wanna hit cap, I still love to be immersed in the world and the lore.

The other two zones, Vashj’ir and Deepholm, I really was not a fan of. Vashj’ir is a water level. I’ve always disliked water levels. In any game. I’m trying to think of a single example from other games that had a water level that I actually enjoyed and I can’t think of one. Don’t get me wrong, there actually were some cool parts to the zone. I actually really enjoyed the big fight at the Abyssal Breach at the end of the quest line for the zone. For the most part, I found the zone to be pretty tedious and boring. With Deepholm it’s not that the zone wasn’t fun, it’s that in order to get the shoulder enchants for my characters I HAD to quest through there. I’m not really a fan of forced content. I found myself leveling to 85 with the new heirloom gear and completely forgetting about shoulder chants and had to go back and finish up the quests just to get them. Not so bad the first or second time but once I got tot the fourth and fifth time through it I really started to dislike the zone. Like Vashj’ir there were parts of Deepholm that I did enjoy but overall my experiences there were not very pleasant.

Next up I want to get into the 5 man dungeons. Blizzard did attempt to make the heroic 5 mans a little more challenging by adding in elements that made CC an important part of them like back in Burning Crusade. I did enjoy that. Except for in random q where no one know wtf a CC was or how to avoid constantly breaking them. Despite whatever nerfs or changes they made i felt the Cata 5 mans just weren’t as well designed as previous expansions. I could sit for hours back in Wrath doing nothing but random 5 mans even after I didn’t need any gear or emblems. To me it seemed that the majority of them were a lot of fun and very well designed. In Cata i really felt quite the opposite. I dreaded queuing for them. Partially because I was worried about what kind of group I would get but also because I thought they were pretty boring. Having at least 5 level 85s I really developed quite a distaste for them. I’ve tried numerous times to figure out what it is about them that just turned me off so much. No clue. They just don’t feel right? I guess that’s the best way I can describe it. Whatever it may be I just can’t seem to put my finger on it.

Of course you can’t talk about the things you liked or didn’t like about a WoW expansion without go on for a bit about raiding. There was definitely a mixed bag of good and bad here. I just want to start this part by saying what many others have already. Raid Finder should have been in with the launch of Cataclysm. I think that it’s a great feature that allows many people that don’t have raiding guilds or enjoy raiding and want something quick and easy to run through each week something to do. They at least got it in and am looking forward to having it available right out of the gate with MoP. Having it release with the third and final tier of raids(which in my opinion is the weakest of all the raid content in Cata) to me was a bit aggravating. I enjoyed the tier 11 raids the most. I found that there were some really cool fights in tier 11. Conclave of Wind in Throne of the Four Winds is a favorite of mine. The platform swapping between the three bosses and having to kill them all within a minute of one another was really cool. I also really enjoyed the Omnitron Defense System, and Nefarian in the Blackwing descent raids. Of course there were a few of the fights in the tier that I wasn’t a big fan of but overall I thought that it was pretty well done.

Tier 12 is where stuff started to get weird. First off the trash clearing. What the crap. I understand that there’s gonna be trash mobs kicking around raids and clearing it is a part of the game. Having to clear enough trash for one of the bosses to spawn was kind of a pain in the ass. The best thing about this tier of raiding was that some of the gear pieces looked bad ass as hell. The difficulty pacing that was just all over the place. The interior of the Firelands raid did look pretty cool but it has to be one of my least favorite raids in all of WoW. I’ll have to take a peek at my achieves later but I can’t remember if I ever ended up finishing Firelands. It was around the time that my account had run out and resubbing to go trudging through the Firelands wasn’t reason enough.

Tier 13. Dragon Soul. Really that’s it? When I heard that one of the fights with Deathwing that you would be standing on his back I got really excited and thought that would be epic. Not so much. I honestly thought that with the impending apocalypse that Blizz would have pulled out all the stops and gone balls to the wall with this raid. Not the epic finale to an expansion like i thought it would be. A lackluster ending to what i feel was a pretty cool arcing story throughout the expansion. The ultimate bad guy. More dangerous than anything Azeroth has ever seen. Let’s put a raid together with rehashed boss models, have the second last fight more difficult than the actual final showdown between the heroes of Azeroth, the dragon aspects and the biggest big bad the World of Warcraft has ever seen. I guess after really enjoying most of the raids in Wrath so much that in comparison i felt they dropped the ball.

This sounds like a giant QQ about how much Cata sucked. Not the case. While I did have issues with some of the content that we got to experience with the expansion, I did have a lot of fun. The game itself to me has never really lost its fun factor despite my gripes with certain aspects of the content. A lot of people have gotten bored with WoW over the years and moved on to other titles. That’s cool. You gotta play what you like. I still have a lot of fun with WoW even after all these years. There’s plenty more I could go on about when it comes to Cata but this is one long ass rant. The last thing I will mention is about the new races. Worgen – Really cool. If I actually played Alliance I would totally have rolled one. Goblin – I love my Goblin. It’s pretty much become my main at this point.

/rant

Phew… This really is a long one… What are some of the things you did or didn’t like about Cataclysm? What features are you looking forward to the most from MoP? Let me know!

Thanks for reading folks.

-FMG-

So these posts are mainly for me to rant on and on about things that I’m playing, reading or looking forward to. With E3 going on, there’s a lot of really cool and exciting things on the horizon for gamers. I’m not gonna break down all the press conferences and pick who did better or had a better showing. All I really care about are some of the upcoming titles. I’ll list a couple that I’m looking forward to the most. Although I will mention that the Xbox SmartGlass thing did seem pretty cool. What was even better was Trey Parker coming out to announce the South Park game and poking fun at all your devices being connected. Love Matt and Trey. Pure geniuses.

So on that note I might as well kick off with the upcoming South Park game. The Stick of Truth. This game pretty much looks like how they described it. An interactive episode of South Park where you play the new kid. From the brief trailer they showed it look to have all the language and quips that one would expect from an episode of the cartoon. I’ve been a fan for a long time and really looking forward to getting my hands on this game. With achievable ranks like Douchebag and Butthole this game really looks like it will capture that epic South Park spirit. With degrading nicknames and ridiculous weapons like Cartmans moms “vibro-blade”, this game is going to be epic. Can’t wait. More info at Stick of Truth.

The next title that really caught my attention was The Last of Us. The game-play videos for this game really shows an intense environment that really looks to emphasize the fight for survival. The setting is a post apocalyptic Pittsburg 20 years after an outbreak kills most of humanity. No mention if there will be other locations. I’m looking forward to fighting against other survivors and whatever Zombies or other creatures the awesome folks down at Naughty Dog are going to pit us against. If they can capture the cinematic greatness and intensity that they nailed with the Uncharted series, they will definitely have another winner. From all the videos the cover, and combat systems seems to work together seamlessly. They were smooth in Uncharted so there’s no reason to question whether they will be in TLoU. The AI for the enemies in the demo and for your companion Ellie seem very well done. She reacts to enemies and tries to help out when she can like throwing a brick at an enemy to throw them off so you can get the upper hand. Also enemies react to whats happening as well. Like hearing that disappointing “click” when you run out of ammo. Naughty Dog really looks to have something great here. Very stoked to see more from this title. For more info and some wicked videos including the E3 game-play video check out The Last Of Us.

Another zombie title that I’m really stoked for is Resident Evil 6. I’m a huge fan of the series. I must say that having Chris Redfield and Leon Kennedy both in the same RE title is going to be wicked as hell. I’ve watched the trailers but am not sure yet if I’ll get to see my personal favorite character from the game series. Claire Redfield. Hopefully she’ll be in there somewhere. I’ve not been that big a fan of the off title RE games like Umbrella Chronicles and the like but the core RE games have all been great. This title is looking like it won’t disappoint. Having the choice to play three full campaigns, as Chris, Leon or Jake Muller(Wesker JR ZOMG) seems like a really cool idea. Three campaigns, each with a different feel and game-play all with a unifying story seems really awesome. Kind of like the RE2 Scenario A/B ramped up to be even more awesome. In interviews the developers have also said that they have added to the controls to give even more ways to blast holes and beat the shit out of Zombies but keeping them fluid and intuitive. Did I mention Zombies? While fighting the Ganados and other non-Zombie enemies was cool and fun in the last few titles, nothing is as satisfying as wrecking a Zombie horde in an RE game. Also in the Jake campaign there’s a bit of a throwback to RE3 type game-play with the fear of constantly being chased by the Ustanak Monster. Running from Nemesis in RE3 got pretty intense at times. Will be cool to see that element of running for your life from a big bad back in the series. Check out the official Resident Evil 6 site for more info.

The last one I want to mention before I end this long ass drooling rant is Quantic Dreams new title. Beyond:Two Souls. I loved their previous game, Heavy Rain. I’ve played through it at least half a dozen times. This game starring Ellen Page as Jodie Holmes, touches on what might lie beyond. A character that has always felt something there. Something perhaps on the other side. Looks great. Words just can’t do this beautiful looking game any justice at all. Definitely keep an eye on Beyond:Two Souls for more info.

Plenty of other titles showcased at E3 look awesome. Like the new Tomb Raider, ZombieU, Star Wars 1313 and the new SimCity to mention a few. It looks like gamers are gonna have their hands full for the next while with all the upcoming games. For more in-depth articles, interviews and videos be sure to check out all your favorite gaming news destinations for more info on everything E3. What games shown at E3 really have you chomping at the bit to get your hands on? Leave a comment and let me know!

Thanks for reading!
-FMG-

So today is a big day for FMG. I tossed up my first video to good ‘ol YouTube. Nothing major. Just a quick video going over the build I’ve used on my Barbarian. I’ll probably expand that a bit and throw up some more game-play footage of it in action. I haven’t done much in terms of video editing in a very long time so I’m pretty terrible at it. I’m trying out a ton of different programs and compressing the videos a few times with different programs/settings to see how the quality is. It’s been pretty fun. Very tiring, but fun. Looking forward to making more.

Let’s get to it.

At this point I’ve spent about 120 or so hours with Diablo 3. Despite the “Error 37” problems at launch and the complaints about the persistent online part of D3 I am loving the game. Even tho D3 isn’t an MMO I guess I’m used to having servers taken down for patches and stuff like that. I can definitely understand the strictly single player gamers out there who are upset with it. While it definitely wasn’t the smoothest game launch ever, I’m just glad to finally have my hands on the full game. The main concern for me with such a large gap and all the problems over the years they have developed D3, was if they could pull it off again. D1 and 2 were amazing games and I played the crap out of them. In my opinion, yeah. They nailed it. It feels like a Diablo game. Rolling through slaughtering baddies for shiny baubles has never been so much fun.

I just want to touch real quickly on graphics. The graphics in the game aren’t that bad. The environments look pretty awesome. The character models? I don’t think that they really look that great. Not terrible, but you can tell that this has been in development for a little while. I’m usually a person who loved throwing max settings on my games and sitting in awe at how amazing they look. When it comes to Diablo? It’s not that big of an issue for me. I just want that excitement of action and discovery. I can overlook the slightly dated graphics issue because the game really is a lot of fun. The dated graphics do not extend into the cinematic cut-scenes. Those are incredibly well done. You see those at the beginning, end and between each act but each one is mind-blowingly awesome. My personal favorite is the one between Act 1 and 2. Not gonna spoil it for ya. I’m just gonna say – HOLY SHIT! By the end of it I was standing with my hand over my mouth and my jaw on the floor. Incredible.

I’ve played all 5 classes at this point to at least level 20–ish. The two I’ve focused on are my Barbarian(Level 55 in Hell difficulty), and my Witch Doctor(Level 45 in Nightmare difficulty). Back in Diablo 2, there were a few classes that I couldn’t really get into and I didn’t play much. Back in Beta I was able to try out all the classes up to thirteen and did have fun will all of them. Throughout Beta certain skills got moved up and down levels and difficulty was getting tweaked. So I knew that at launch I would have to try them all again and see if I was still down to level all of them. I still find all the classes a lot of fun. They all play differently and have their own feel. The one class that I was finding early on that I wasn’t enjoying as much was the Monk. There’s just something about the abilities you get early on for them. I just wasn’t really feeling it. I’m around 20 on him now and have unlocked some pretty cool abilities so I am getting a better feel for it. The other classes I was off and running right at the start and loved all the abilities that I was getting and had a tough time choosing which abilities to use. Even now on my Witch Doctor I sometimes wish that I had just one more skill slot.

I’m sure that at this point with the amount of time I’ve played I probably would be well into, if not finished Inferno difficulty if I had focused on one character. I know I have a problem. Alt-oholism/Alt-itis is no laughing matter. Ok. It kinda is. Even with the amount of hours on my two higher characters I probably should be a little but further along than they are. What I have done a lot of is replaying areas with different builds to really get a feel for what best suits my play-style. I’ve almost got my Witch Doctor nailed down. Just a few things I need to decide on and tweak a bit. There’s some really great runes that some of the powers have so that is often the hardest choice for me. Certain abilities for my play style are a must have and sometimes there’s a couple of runes that are all viable for me. Once I really get that one refined a bit more I’ll make a video like I did for my Barbarian. With the Barbarian I still occasionally swap a thing or two out, usually passive abilities depending on the situation, but I use those skills in the video for everything. Trash mobs, elites, bosses and it all seems to work most of the time. There are times when I go rushing in before I realize what abilities a certain elite will have and get decimated. I can usually come back and take them out relatively easily once I see what I did wrong. I’ve rolled with pretty much that same build since about level 35-ish. Obviously there are some runes that I’m using now that are unavailable at that level but the abilities for the most part haven’t really changed. Check out the video and see what you think.

While I have played a lot of the game solo, I know quite a few people who also are playing. The system they have in place to group up with friends and hop into a game is amazing. Probably one of the best and easiest multi-player experiences I’ve ever seen. When you log on if someone on your list is in a game it shows a quick join tab in the bottom right that you can mouse over to see what level/act/difficulty your friend is playing. To join them it’s as easy as clicking their name on that list. You hop straight into the game and then can instantly catch up to them by clicking on their player banner right where you spawn in. You can also form up groups and start games together just as easily. So much easier than the old D2 days. Also if you’re rolling through by yourself and no friends are on at the moment and are feeling the multi-player itch, opening your game up to random players is as easy as bringing up the main menu and clicking the open game to public option. Joining a public game is a simple as clicking that option at the main screen. They really have made the multi-player experience very seem-less. I can definitely see some strictly single player gamers out there giving it a shot because of how easy it is.

I guess that it’s for today. I’m sure I’ll do more D3 posts in the future. Thanks a lot for reading and I hope you enjoy the video. Be sure to subscribe to the blog and Youtube and check out FMG on Facebook for updates!

-FMG-

This past week has been pretty damned busy. With the release of Diablo 3 and being in a few Betas, I’ve tried to spread my time between them but it hasn’t gone so well. I’ve put in around 60 hours or so into D3 already but I did manage to pry myself away from it to get some time with the Firefall Beta. I first saw some of this game was last year on GamebreakerTVs weekly show TWIMMO. I became very interested and tried to find out everything I could about it. Which at that time wasn’t all that much. Just that it was a third person shooter MMO that would be Free to Play. A shooter MMO that’s F2P? I’m in. I was pretty excited when I got my invite early last week. Let’s get to it.

Right off the bat I really enjoyed the look and feel of the world. The cel shading graphics style is cool but I am not always a fan of it. There have been a few games over the years that I have enjoyed that use it. This game is definitely one of them. I spent the first hour or so in the game jamming around checking things out and getting used to using the jet-pack. The world looks great and I can’t wait to see more of it. Having the jet-pack to get around was insanely fun. They also have certain places where you can grab a glider to get around the island quicker. While I was hopping around I ended up getting caught up in some group PvE. It was really cool to just be roaming around and stumble on them. Fighting off waves of NPC soldiers along side a big group of other players was really fun. It’s still early on in Beta so other than rocking some quests, thumping(resource gathering player triggered event) and PvP there’s not a lot to do at the moment. What they do have in is still really fun. I’m a big fan of the glider and jet-pack. I’m pretty sure I could entertain myself by just messing with them for hours and hours.

One thing that Red 5 has planned for Firefall which has some people scratching their heads and others jumping for joy is their “Staged Content”. It’s not been implemented yet but if they get it to work it’s going to be amazing. Essentially the whole game world will not be available to explore at launch. As the players work together and complete story quests and participate in the game content they unlock more of the world. Here’s a link to a really great video explaining it. Extra Credits – Firefall – Staged Content Approach. If they can actually pull this off it’s going to be wicked.

The classes are called Battleframes in Firefall. There a few different ones but the really cool part is that you don’t need to re-roll a character to try them all out. When you first load into the game you are defaulted to the Assault Battleframe. Hitting up a Battleframe terminal allows you to swap between them at any time. A load out terminal lets you swap out your different gear within each frame. I started out just messing with the Assault one to get a feel for the game. After I felt that I had a good handle on what I was doing I decided to swap over to Recon. I love playing snipers in shooters and so really wanted to give this Battleframe a test drive. Rolling around with the jet-pack sniping baddies is a lot of fun. Leveled this Battleframe up a bit doing some quests and I even dove into a bit of PvP.

I did have fun in the PvP when I tried it in the Assault and Recon frames but was watching how the healers worked and really wanted to give that a shot. Swapped over to the Medic Battleframe to give it a go. I tend to play healing classes quite a bit in MMOs I wanted to see how it worked in Firefall. So. Much. Fun. I don’t think that I’ve even played any of the other frames since I began rolling with the Medic. I found being able to heal myself made the questing a bit easier but in PvP is where I really was having the most fun. I’m still a low-level medic but I am doing pretty well. Chasing the action trying to keep teammates alive can get pretty intense at times.

I only got in a few hours of playtime with Firefall this past week. I definitely need to spend more time with it. It’s a game that has so much potential. I’ll be doing more posts as the Beta goes on and I get more time with the game. There are issues and things that still need to be added but at this point the game looks and feels really great. I’m having a lot of fun with it. Looking forward to seeing where it goes. All around a great experience so far. I think the folks at Red 5 studios really have something here. Be sure to head on over to the Firefall website and take a look. You can also sign up for the beta there.

Thanks for reading.
-FMG-

So the internet exploded and overreacted to the release of the subscription numbers for Star Wars The Old republic. People on the internet freaking out over nothing? What a surprise. So the numbers released last week we learned that the subscription numbers for SWTOR are down from 1.7 million to 1.3. Pretty big drop but still… 1.3 million subs? Game’s doing fine. Because of the drop there are obviously some servers for the game that are barren even during peak times. Figured I’d throw in my two cents about it.

The sever that my guild and I were placed on during early access is a medium-ish pop server. During peak times the PvP queues aren’t that bad and a decent amount of people can be seen roaming around on the Fleet. I don’t mind the lower population on my server but when I play in the off-peak times the queues can take literally over an hour to get into a Warzone. I tend to play in off-peak times mostly. My biggest gripe about the server that I play on is constantly seeing the same pr-emade groups in PvP for hours on end. There have been periods of time when I hit the same pre-made group for 3-4 hours and sometimes couldn’t finish my daily PvP quest. It can be very frustrating. What I decided to do recently is roll characters on a west coast server with a higher population. I am east coast myself but I tend to play late most of the time so hopping on to a west coast server is better for me. I’m very much looking forward to the upcoming server transfers. Once they become available I will be moving four or five of my characters over. The population on my server seems to have dipped recently. I think other people have had the same idea to test the waters on some of the other servers and transfer over in early summer when that feature becomes available. When this does happen what will become of those left behind on those medium/low populated servers?

In the world of MMOs server merging always get bad press. Usually it happens to games that are struggling to hold people and they combine servers together to make fewer, but higher populated servers. Now SWTOR is not struggling by any means. 1.3 million subs is great. What they should do with the lower populated servers is merge them together so those players who don’t want, or can’t afford to ship their characters off to another server, get a better experience. More players means faster PvP queues, a better economy and a much livelier world to play in.

The bad stigma around server mergers for MMOs is pretty ridiculous. Games gain and lose players all the time. It happens. I think that deciding not to merge servers to simply save face and avoid bad press can potentially be more damaging because those people left on those extremely low pop servers really don’t get a good experience. Therefore keeping them subscribed to the game becomes a lot less likely. The bad press and internet explosion that will take place if they merge servers will be a tough pill to swallow. On the other hand having people quit the game because of, or constantly hearing about barren servers isn’t a good thing either. I think that if Bioware does decide to merge some of the lower populated servers that it will be better for the games community in the long run.

A lot of MMOs out there get a big influx of people who play as soon as the game launches and then that number often drops. Sometimes it steadies out. For some games it goes up again. Others manage to scrape by with their loyal player base. Some game developers switch business models from a subscription to free to play. Those games that make the switch can occasionally end up becoming very profitable and carry on for much longer than people thought they would. I think that this drop off in SWTOR subs is just a normal happening in the world of MMOs that is being blown wildly out of proportion. It’s got a larger than usual spotlight on it because it’s a Star Wars game and EA/Bioware spent a lot of money developing it. I feel that the game does have a lot of great aspects to it. I agree that there are some things that need to be fixed and added to the game. I am still having so much fun with it and plan on sticking with it. I’m eagerly waiting to see what the great folks at Bioware have in store for us.

I’ve spent the last few days trudging through hundreds of pages of forums to look and see some of the reasons that people have left the game. I was looking through the posts, ignoring ones that were nothing more than – “This game sucks so I quit.” or “SWTOR is dead”, in an attempt to find intelligent responses. Posts where people explained what they didn’t like and why they left. There’s quite a few valid well thought out posts among the arguing and trolling. Some left because they just felt that this isn’t the game for them. Others enjoyed the game but felt that there were key features missing and until SWTOR had them they would not be playing. Others are interested in upcoming games and wouldn’t have time. There are plenty of reasons why they left and some pointed out features that would bring them back. I think two of the features that I saw mentioned the most were the Ranked Warzones and the Group Finder. Both are features that are coming soon. Group Finder is slotted to be in the upcoming Patch 1.3. Ranked Warzones got pulled from 1.2 partially because of the feedback they were getting on the test server about how the queues worked. I gotta admit the way the queues worked with putting ranked in with unranked if it couldn’t find enough people was… For lack of a better word, wrong? I’m glad they decided to hold off until they can work with it a bit more and perhaps get cross server queuing in so they can avoid the mixed queues.

Server mergers aren’t always a bad thing. I think that if they decided to go this route with some of the servers that it would be better for the game in the long run. Perhaps once they get the cross server queuing in, it will solve a lot of the problems that the lower populated servers are facing. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

What are your thoughts? If you’re a SWTOR player how is your server doing? Still a busting population or are you stuck dancing by the PvP mission terminal with the same 10 people every single day? What are you feelings about server mergers in general? Are they a good thing if they can potentially make the community stronger or just the last fleeting breaths of a dying MMO? Let me know what you think in the comments here on the blog or over on the FMG Facebook or G+ page.

Thanks for reading!
-FMG-

Thought it would be fun to throw out a post about two of my three favorite things. Gaming and music. Third is Vodka but that’s a whole other post. That I’ll probably never write. Unless I’m really drunk. From Vodka. Moving along. I’ve always been a music fan. Going back to when I was a kid. I still listen to a lot of the same stuff I did back then. Typically a lot of punk/metal/rock’n’roll. Except for some really ridiculous shit that I would put on to screw with people because… Well, I was a kid and it was hilarious. I remember spending days organizing a set list to make a killer mixed tape for my walk-man. Nowadays with massive storage on portable media devices that art of the mixed tape has all but vanished. For me these days I still take the time to meticulously create playlists. Not for portable use. I just load my Droid up and hit shuffle for that. My carefully thought out playlists are for when I’m gaming.

The bulk of the gaming I do these days is with MMOs. I have a main playlist with my 100+ gigs of music that I throw on when I’m trudging the interwebs for entertainment or just sitting around reading comics, or hey! When I’m writing a blog. Although sometimes that just screws me up and I have to end up turning it off or switching to a more focused playlist. I’ve actually written lyrics in the middle of a paragraph while writing a post without realizing it until I proofread it later on. I’m sure I’ll be drunk and or tired when I throw a post up someday and I’ll miss one. Should be funny. Ok. Back on topic. When I play MMOs I have very specific playlists depending on the task at hand. I find that depending on what you dive into in an MMO each has a completely different mindset that I approach it with. Leveling, endgame and PvP all put me in different mindsets that make me want to hear different music.

My leveling playlists tend to be a bit more general than the others. Usually things that I just have fun listening to. Bands like NOFX or Dropkick Murphys for example are just fun as hell to listen to and just takes away from the “grind” that leveling can become in some games. This playlist has actually got quite a bit of punk rock tunes on it. Has a good mix of other things as well but the majority is just songs that are fun to listen to that I can sit here and rock out to while tearing through leveling content like a beast. Also seems there’s a lot of Motley Crue on this one too. Just an all around fun playlist to get into. This is usually the list I’ll throw on if I’m listening to music while rocking the console games.

My endgame playlist is much more focused on specific songs and bands that help me concentrate. Having something that helps me focus so I can keep an eye on what’s going on around me and call things out is great. This list strays from the fast paced punk rock dominated list I listen to while leveling. This list has a lot of TOOL on it. I find that especially with TOOL, it really helps me focus clearly on what I’m doing without much of a distraction. Another band that tends to take up a big spot in the list is Nine Inch Nails. It’s a very metal/industrial heavy list that really gets me in the zone. A lot less random and designed to give my brain something to sink into while I focus on taking down the biggest bads in our various MMO universes.

The last one is probably the most important. Player. Versus. Player. This list is populated by a lot of balls to the wall metal that just gets me revved up and wanting to tear things to shreds. The major players I throw on this list would be bands like Slayer, Pantera and Manowar. Songs that are very aggressive and work like my own personal war drums. Nothing quite like the feeling of running into a battle with Surfacing by Slipknot playing in the background to get the blood flowing. A bonus thing that I’ve found over the years is that this PvP playlist has done for me. Cut down on my cost in keyboards. There was a time when I would completely fly into a frenzied nerd rage and break things. Usually my poor defenseless keyboard. I still get pissed off from time to time and pound my desk. Still curse into vent/mumble profusely sometimes too. This list really helps me focus on the task at hand and worry less about beating up things around me that cost money to replace. Pretty hilarious. The intention of this list, while the less breaking of peripherals is nice, is to get the blood flowing and help me channel any rage on the task at hand.

Whether it’s different things I’m doing within a game or a style of game I always find that music helps me get into what I’m doing. Gaming for me is an escape from reality and music helps me to lose myself in what I’m doing and really get immersed in what I’m playing. I still enjoy hearing the game sounds/music and usually have the master volume set to about 20%. Then I have my playlist rocking in WinAmp at about 10% volume and can still clearly everything. That is of course if I have vent/mumble on. Being able to hear the people who you’re raiding or PvPing with kinda helps too. When I’m rolling solo I usually have things turned up higher.

Listening to music definitely helps me focus and makes me better at whatever I may be playing. Some people can’t listen to music at all and find it a distraction. Some turn game sounds/music off completely and just listen to tunes. Curious to know how your gaming and music mixes if at all. Let me know!

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Thanks for reading!

-FMG-