Monday, 2 April 2012

An unnecessary silence.

I've been rather quiet recently, I apologise.

Though to be fair there's a reason to it all, well several.

It started with Reckoning: Kingdoms of Amalur. The only way I can explain this game is taking World of Warcraft, making it a single player and giving it a more interactive combat. This game is huge, I played hours on it and still found myself on the first continent.

Sadly I had to take a break, Mass Effect 3 was coming, and I still had to finish off Mass Effect 2 (note I'd finished it before and at some point I've deleted all my old saves in a "OH GOD I HATE WHAT I'VE DONE AND I'M STARTING OVER FROM SCRATCH")

Unfortunately this means playing Mass Effect 1 again, which is a fantastic game but so dated compared to it's successors, especially in the UI and control department. That said I still had my old Spectre achievement, Spec guns make everything better, except the guy you're shooting.

I was midway through Mass Effect 2 though going at great pace with a week till ME3's launch. I'd stocked up on snacks, gotten time off work and would have everything ready, with the plan being I'd finish by playing Arrival the night before launch.

Then my PC died, and I got it back Wednesday this week. Much rage has been had.

At this point I'd just quickly like to thank my tired old beat up laptop for playing a vanilla version of ME3 with no imported save data, just so I wasn't sat staring at my Collector's Edition going stir crazy.

So that's the main reason for a lack of updates, I've really not been able to do much gaming. I'm playing through MY version of ME3 now though with my PC back. I'll be withholding opinion on the game (and the ending) till I've done my story of it.

The other reason I've not been around is because with no PC to play on, I picked up my 3DS, bashed my head at a few Sonic levels, played a bit of Mario 3DS and then bought Metal Gear Solid 3DS.

Now I loved Metal Gear Solid, to the point I already knew the game and still bought Twin Snakes on the Gamecube. I saw MGS2 on a friend's PS2 and hated it (seriously, fuck Raiden) and I never picked up the series after that. I got MGS3DS purely on an old friend's recommendation, I owe him a drink for it.

The camera controls take a while to get use to, and you'll be frustrated at the end with EVA's utterly horrible driving (insert women drivers joke here) But this is a measurement as to how much I enjoyed the game.

As soon as I completed it, I hit "Start new game" to do it all again and try different approaches. The story will be exactly the same but the combat and means to an end ranges vastly, it's an absolutely brilliant game that only has the flaw of being shorter than MGS1. However I will have to pick up Guns of the Patriots at some point and just forget MGS2 ever existed.

Anyway back to Mass Effect 3, at some point I'll finish it, get back to Amalur and Skyrim, do those achievements I meant to do in DX:HR and probably buy Kid Icarus for the 3DS.

Oh and there's been a ton of drama in EVE, but there are many many better blogs that cover all that if you want an educated appraisal of the situation. I suggest starting here. Though on EVE related news, there are things on the horizon which I shall talk about at greater length in a future blog, for now. Put Missiles on the Ships...



Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Stabbing, Speeding, Spam Clicking and Shooting. Gaming so far in 2012

So Mass Effect 3 has a release date.

I really should get on with that save plan I wanted to do.. I think I'm about to meet the Council for the first time in ME1... so I've not THAT far to go (oh who am I kidding?)

Reason I haven't been touching it recently is work, I upped my shifts after the new year and it's kicked the shite out of me, so I'm backing down and taking it easy for a while. Which will mean more time for gaming (yay!)

Recently I've been playing through Assassin's Creed, after completing the first game (by that I mean the storyline, because bollocks to hunting all those flags) I'm what I'm guessing is halfway through 2. For those who haven't played Assassin's Creed, the second game is huge. The first game felt pretty big but this is stunning, with so many side quests and mini plot stories to fill in the background there's days of content here.

It's not Skyrim big, but then again few things are.

Other than that I picked up Sonic Generations for the 3DS over the New Year, as a fan of the classic Mega Drive (that's Sega Genesis for you US types.) I've been curious to see what the new Generation Sonic fuss is about. I had Sonic 3D for the MD but utterly hated it, and never touched any subsequent Sonic titles, except for a 2d game they did for the GBA a few years back (I forgot I even had that until I just wrote this... I must have the cartridge somewhere!)

For those who haven't played it, or looked into it, they've taken a level from every major Sonic game (though they've mixed 3 and Knuckles together, those devious bastards! I wanted my Angel Island zone) and split it over 2 stages. The first is a classic 2D layout, even of the newer games, the second is the more up to date 3D style gameplay. Yes a 3D version of Green Hill, it takes some getting use to if you've never done the newer games.

However what I don't like is after a while, they're throwing new Sonic's moves into old Sonic's abilities, that just confused the hell out of me. I'll also say for the record, this game is HARD. I picked up Super Mario 3DS in November and bar a couple of the Bowser fights that game was pretty easy, this has had Game Over screens popping up more times than I can grind my teeth in frustration. I haven't had a single player challenge this good since Ikaruga.

Which reminds me, I should play that again...

Other than that I've been playing Rise of Immortals (yes I know I know Myrhial, I should just download LoL..) and spending some time in EVE, recently getting the opportunity to run with one of the elite private networks when it comes to Incursions. However that's a completely whole separate post in itself, and something for another time.

Apologies if this seems more like a diary feel than an actual blog on something relevant, I've been dry for topic ideas for a while. Suggestions welcome.


Friday, 6 January 2012

Happy new year, and what 2012 brings to the cave.

Late to the party with my wellwishes, but I hope you all had a great holiday.

2012 has a fair amount in gaming interests for me, with Diablo and Mass Effect 3 coming up, as well as constant developments in the world of EVE Online.

On top of that I've a couple of things to finish off in the world of Skyrim, I plan to go back and finish off a few Human Revolution builds I had planned, and over the winter break I discovered Petroglyph's Rise of Immortals (which reminds me, "Bioware" is doing C&C Generals 2, I'll be popping my thoughts up at some point) This prompted my partner to nag me into trying LoL, which I will when the installation client actually works.

And on top of all of that she finally got me around to playing the Assassin's Creed series, why did I abstain for so long.

As well as all of that I'm still playing a back log of old Gamecube games and picking up some interesting titles on my 3DS, with plenty more to come in the next year. So there should be plenty of content on that front, as well as my continuation of thoughts relating to non title specific elements of gaming.

But first, gotta go back to work, someone hand me a coffee.


Saturday, 10 December 2011

Powergaming: "Oh god how can you find that fun?"

Busy week, busy busy week.

Family trip south got cancelled so instead I worked a couple of extra shifts (I do part time volunteer work at Cancer Research.) My usual Friday shift (even though I'd already worked Monday because I wasn't originally able to do Friday) and a special shift on Thursday. We'd gotten a license from the local Council for Thursday only, letting us go out about the town centre for the day to fundraise. So off we went with the collection Cans and stood there in town looking as pretty as we could (watch it now) raising money.

Of course no one told us there was a Hurricane that was centred in Scotland some 90 or so miles to the North. Explains why it was a bit cold, also explains why my hair was flying all over the place...

And why I was dodging flying struts from collapsing market stalls, and the occasional Christmas tree from the shop at the top of the road. Still we made near to £150, good times.

While stood there freezing my nuts off though I had the time to think about blog post topics. One that seems to be a dividing line between myself and several friends in the gaming community is Powergaming, also known as theorycrafting and min/maxing.

When I play games I have a tendency to go for powerful setups and builds. People ask me why I simply can't just turn on a game and enjoy it without having to go for the perfect way of playing it. For me it's the reverse, I can't see how people can enjoy a game knowing that they could aim higher and achieve bigger things. Whether that's a setup that does more DPS, runs a level, mission or dungeon faster or becomes a ridiculous combine that utterly breaks the game, but you do it just because you can.

The case I have in mind with that last example is Skyrim. Now I know already that the best weaponry will come from Blacksmithing and that the best Blacksmithing improvement is to bounce skill effectiveness between Enchanting and Alchemy. After that, you can then use Enchanting to put two enchants on at once just to completely annihilate the crap out of targets, and then poison your arrows for fun.

Does it break the game, somewhat, not as badly as a caster class with 100% Magika reduction on Destruction spells mind. But is it fun? Of course it is.

Now here's the kicker, does it get boring after a while? Eventually yes, yes it does. But the fun isn't just in the finished product, it's in the building stage.

Anyone who is part of a theorycrafting community (at this point I'd like to give a shout out to the DK community over at #Acherus for asking the questions, finding the answers and generally helping each other out for the goal of benefiting the Death Knight class) will tell you, the final execution is only part of the artform that is Powergaming. Design, trial and error and calculation are all as much a part of it.

Of course, that's never the bit that comes up public viewing. You get the Youtube video of the Machariel that runs the whole of L4 Angel Extravaganza in the time it takes you to do the first room. You get the guy who pulls off insane DPS and ranks #1 on WoL or you get the photos on Imgur of 7k damage Daedric swords.

It's like baking, sure at the end of it you get a delicious cake, but there's a whole process before you eat the cake of making it. Some people out there enjoy this bit, possibly even some of you who don't get powergaming! Meanwhile others, like me, prefer to just eat the damn Cake.

Unless it's Cheesecake, no thanks.


Monday, 5 December 2011

My first blog entry!

And it's not even on this site..

Ok so before I decided to kickstart this blog up I was chatting with the ever wonderful Myhrial Arkenath about many things, one topic that constantly comes up is my gripe about the EVE UI.

Now I've always been a bit OCD with settings in games, to the point where my WoW UI was completely custom and set to my own specifications, with mouse bindings, extra bars and a few tweaks (LUI makes awesome UI base packages. If you still play WoW on a decent machine and are thinking of a new UI look them up! The base UI they give you is amazing as it is, but the level of customisation you can have with it makes it second to none.)

So she asked me to write her a guest blog about my thoughts on EVE Online's UI system and changes/improvements I'd like to see done. You can find it here.

Other than that my weekend was capped off with my latest parody song in EVE Online going public. My EVE character, being a goof that he is, tends to spend his evenings drinking and thinking of strange and wonderful things, some of which are actually funny (most are not.) And every so often he comes up with the idea for a parody song (which is whenever I get inspiration for them) Before now they took a day, or a weekend at most to write, this one took the better part of Eighteen Months.

Personally I think the time I spent pondering, writing and rewriting it paid off. But I'm always interested in more feedback, do remember the Intergalactic Summit forum is strictly in character, so if you post there do keep that rule in mind.

Will be away from gaming till the weekend, visiting the family as I don't see them over Christmas. So have a good week!


Saturday, 3 December 2011

Starting afresh.

This must be what, the third blog I've tried to keep now? So I'm doing some very crucial things differently.

1: This is a generic blog, my previous two blogs were focused on a WoW class and an IC EVE Online blog. There will be posts about EVE (mostly OOC but possibly some IC!) possibly even WoW related posts (I don't play it any more, but I like to keep an eye on how things are going.) But there will be plenty of other things, though I'll try to keep it gaming related (which isn't hard, it's my biggest hobby) Feel free to pick and mix, I'll tag my posts appropriately.

2: I swear to not give a damn about replies. I use to write some really long thought out posts on my previous blogs and be dismayed when no one ever gave me feedback or a reply. Which leads to ...

3: I'll be writing about things because I feel like it, not because I feel I have to. It's not a diary, it's just a collection of thoughts stored somewhere online, and who knows, other people might find them interesting.

Otherwise why else are you here?

Anyway in the spirit of doing everything completely backwards I'll finish with an introduction. I am the Northern Goblin, it's a nickname fused from my "Goblin" nickname at University, given for drinking large amounts of Hobgoblin ale and the traditional "Northern Monkey" moniker that comes with living in the better half of England.

I'd carry on but hopefully this blog will give people a sense of what I get up to over time. Oh and I also have a twitter:!/Northern_Goblin