Thursday, 30 June 2011

1.7 Minecraft Update

Finally the long awaited 1.7 Minecraft Update has arrived. The only thing missing is the adventure, planned for 1.8. It seems like Notch is really going all out for this adventure update. He has trickled small bits of information about the update to keep us all waiting also! Anyways...

The 1.7 update brings the following changelog:

+ Added pistons
+ Fire or redstone is now required to trigger TNT
+ Fences can be stacked
+ Added shears
+ Shears can be used to pick up leaf blocks
+ Shears can be used to shear sheep without hurting them
* Sheep no longer drop wool from being punched
- Removed Herobrine

For each of these I am fine, except the TNT requirements. It was fun punching TnT and blowing up friends. But now you cannot just plop a block down and light it. You need some other mechanisms, I guess this could be helpful for griefing as they will actually need to find iron before blowing things up. Anyways that seems to be all, the shears seem to be nice and the pistons I cannot wait to try. The pistons open up a whole new plethora of options for weird and wacky contraptions, of course some that were present before but now without a mod!

Great work Jens and Notch, finally 1.7 has arrived!

Ramble complete, good day.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Guild Wars 2 Underwater Combat!

Here are my first impressions of the amazing Guild Wars 2 underwater combat system!

To start I applaud ArenaNet and specifically the devs that brought this amazing creation to us. Thanks!

Now let's start!

The drowning downed system is wonderful. They looked at being downed at a whole new angle (get it, z axis! :O) and implemented an extremely smart downed state. If you are downed underwater you will be but into a "drowning" state. Here you can either, kill somebody, get revived by an ally or reach the surface. This mechanism will work extremely well in my opinion. Firstly, the deeper you go the harder it will be to come out of this drowning state. So that means all the epic bosses will be really deep underwater, awesome! One of the developers during a video stated that at some parts of the water you swim down for approx. 45 seconds. That is bloody deep considering the movement speed is fairly quick underwater. Also they have stated that there will be actual underwater events that take place! How many though is undecided yet. But if we take that 1/3 of the world will be underwater and approx 1500 events, I would say probably less then 500. That is awesome, so much underwater immersion for a game is unheard of! Until now!

Ok now, the transfer from land to water is seamless, and I have seen it. There was one part in a video where a dev was getting mauled by a lot of higher level pirates. On the land he went down right next to the shore. In the down state he was knocked backwards into the water and from there he instantly entered the water downed state. The transfer from land to water is fast and easy. You can go from fighting enemies on shore to launching harpoons at them in an instant. ArenaNet has really thought about the annoyance of underwater seen in other games and has completely eliminated it. There is also no breathing! You don't have to find some potion or spend a bunch of money, you are fitted with a breathing apparatus as soon as you enter water. Also on a side note the breathing apparatus looks really nice, it really fits well with the character.

The weapon sets provided underwater seem to give a similar play style to your original character but of course with that extra axis. Which is always great. Each profession (the 7 so far) have two different weapons available underwater except the elementalist. Which technically has 4, for each attunement. The engineer seems to stick with explosives like torpedoes and also with nets. The Necromancer uses a spear but more at a short range, with his main attack throwing spears. The ranger of course has the longer range harpoon gun and spear although I haven't seen much game play. And also with the other professions I have seen limited underwater game play.

Now with that being said there is one not so much of a big deal complaint. Clipping. I completely understand that clipping is inevitable. With 5 different sized races and 8 professions the armor, weapons, environment provide quite a clipping disaster. Normally above ground the clipping is not that bad, mildly noticeable. The problem was underwater. I could see a lot of ground clipping with the players swimming around freely in the open 3D space. The problem only seemed to occur whilst swimming backwards because the character is at a weird angle. Some armor did clip noticeably with the underwater weapons. For me, clipping is not that big of a deal. I can easily ignore it, but for some serious RPer's it might become a huge issue. Not game breaking, just an issue.

TL:DR It is awesome.

After the huge bombardment of information this week it has been amazing. All the fans that were lucky enough to be pulled into the ArenaNet studio had a blast and it seems the staff too. I think that the Fanday was a huge success, and those that didn't attend were blessed with loads of new information.


Ramble complete, good day!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Less or More?

Don't let the general title confuse. I am just trying to find a balance within my blogosphere. Here are the scenarios...

If I release say 1 blog a day I find I sometimes end up cramming a lot of jumbled ideas together. I usually do it all really unorganized and sometimes I even forget what I am talking about. For me, this scenario gives a lot of content in a short amount of time, but it is of lesser value. And not to mention I have to release one every day meaning that I get no real break or extra time to work on it with schooling and the rest.

Now with the second scenario, I release say 1-2 blogs a week. This way I can plan out the blog over the week revise it, organize it more. I can look around, do some research and really make sure my facts are correct. This scenario could give me a break every few days. That way every week there could be a powerful blog or two instead of 7 all jumbled up blogs that should really be only 1 or 2 longer blogs.

I have come to the conclusion, after my beginner bloggers mistake, I will not do one blog a day. I realize I end up trying to cram and most blogs turn out, well they turn out like shit.

Anyways, what I'm trying to say here is I will do longer blogs. Where I can throw all the things that interested me in the week into a few blogs. Of course I will separate them so you aren't getting like 4 different games jammed into one boringly long blog post. This way I can think over my blogs. Save them as drafts, edit, revise. It can give me more time to perfect each blog post. This way they aren't shit!


Ramble complete, good day!

Monday, 20 June 2011

5 Days, and Finally News!

Well after hearing about it on the forums and lurking around twitter it appears there is some sort of "open house" going on at ArenaNet. It appears the contest winners are going to be getting access to the studio and other members in the community. The total number appears to be 15, which was tweeted by Martin Kerstein. This appears to be an exciting event for all involved.

To me it doesn't seem too big. They are not allowing them to film any game play but they are allowed to speak about it freely. This to me seems still to be something exciting, just nothing ground breaking. The ambassador contest winners seem to be showing up there also (mentioned by Rubi in her last flameseeker chronicle article).

There has been a lot of speculation as to new content that may be showed at this open house. I assume so, but you never know. Some speculation has been PvP as 15 people are being brought in so it could be something like that. Although I think the WvWvW would be better tested with either the closed or open beta tests. Just my opinion.

Well to those who are going congratulations! Have fun, can't wait to hear what kind of amazing things go down in that magical place.

Ramble complete, good day!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Blogging Material

For the moment I have run out of material to blog about. The information that has completely stopped has really affected my blog. I have no new and exciting news to blog about. Sure I could blog about old happenings but that is kind of boring in my opinion. Not to mention my exams this week are seriously hovering above me and bombarding me with guilt as I push it later into the night. I am a terrible procrastinator, terribly terrible. I cannot commit to doing homework or projects until the due date is staring me in the face. I go without sleep as my project is quickly tossed together. I feel this way with my exams and projects to be due by the end of this week.

I will get it done eventually, just blogging to push it even farther!

Ramble complete, good day!

Monday, 13 June 2011

Guild Wars 2 Business Model

Rubi has kicked up a huge cloud of dust with her latest Flameseeker Chronicles post. She talks deeply about ArenaNet's business model for Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2. I am mostly glad that this can start, gives us more to ponder whilst the news is creeping along at a snail's pace.

Rubi's states that ArenaNet needs to make people want to play Guild Wars 2 because there business strategy allows for a lot of flexibility. If you aren't attached to the game through a subscription fee it is easy to put it down for a second and forget about it. Then that second turns into minutes, days, and you get the idea. This is the whole case and point around ArenaNet's business strategy. The content has to be engrossing, to keep us hooked without tying us down. I think this is something they can excel at, as long as they know this themselves.

Now for their microtransactions they need to find where they want to be. We have already established that cosmetics will be prevalent and no advantages in game can be paid for. This to me is perfect, too many F2P games are unbalanced due to some people tossing money in for bonuses. If you give people stuff they actually want to buy, even if it is only cosmetic, it will be profitable. Just like the game-play the microtransactions have to be engrossing and of course reasonably priced. The first Guild Wars was a great testing ground for the microtransactions to appear in Guild Wars 2 and I am eagerly awaiting to see what they do with it. Character slots seem like a must and we know about transmutation stones. The transmutation stones seem like a wonderful idea if put to use properly. They will need to define how they want the transmutation stones to work so we, the players, don't feel ripped off. I think ArenaNet needs to balance price and usability with their microtransactions.

If they can pull off this huge list of things, their business structure will work.

Ramble complete, good day!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Guild Wars 2 WvWvW Leveling

We already know for sure that getting from level 1-80 in Guild Wars 2 is doable. I was just pondering the thought of it's comparison to PvE leveling. Will the time frame of about one hour and 30 minutes hold up? I mean if you are actively participating in events and combat in the WvWvW then will that be possible?

It is very interesting to me that I have this sparked interest in PvP. Normally I rarely PvP and the only time I think I have had a really heart beating, enjoyable experience would be Runescape. I have never felt so scared in my life and involved in PvP. Guild Wars PvP was something I dabbled in but nothing that held my flailing attention span for more then a couple rounds. ArenaNet has really just stepped back and looked at both aspects completely. They have created a pure PvP experience which is the 5v5 hot join-able PvP. Then they have taken WvWvW and transformed it into a PvE/PvP mix. You have aspects of the PvE going into it like leveling  obtaining items and events. Then you have a whole world (or worlds) to explore for PvP. The fact that it isn't some tiny map with enemies around every corner sounds interesting. I can see sneaky tactics and strategies playing out really well. There is an aspect of this crazy unbalanced chaos thrown into the mix too.

ArenaNet is not only giving us a one of a kind PvE experience, but they have an astounding PvP to match it.

Ramble complete, good day!

Information Stand Still

It feels like as we get closer to summer a lot of the information about some games I am following fervently are going to stop. Minecraft is slowly progressing towards the end of this year. Guild Wars 2 is slowly creeping towards the conventions this summer and the few sparse interviews I pick clean of all hints or details. I feel like everything is just frozen and people are just working hard. It feels like they are going to just work over the summer and information will be locked.

I am suffering from information withdrawal! And only Notch or ArenaNet can help me :P

Ramble compelte, good day!

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Guild Wars 2 Forum Hate

I find the 52 pages and 1000+ replies to the "What do you dislike about Guild Wars 2" forum thread to be a little depressing. If we can point out so much wrong how close are we til release? I am not worried about the status of it, I know ArenaNet is capable enough to fix all of it for sure. I just wonder how much time, effort and resources they will have to put in. I mean I have been following Guild Wars 2 since 2006 and I will play the hell out of that game, I just worry if the balance between finishing the game and fixing everything is leaning too far one way. I completely understand the game should be finished but I mean we could help! With a beta we could give constructive feedback! Although they do want us to be blown away when we play it but, how does it make it that different from the demos? Even if they just released the content on those demo stations to the public for a while it would be good. But then we run into the problems of going to conventions for exlusive only demos. Humph.

So many decisions, and they aren't even mine!

Ramble complete, good day!

Friday, 10 June 2011

Tap-Repeatedly Interview for Guild Wars 2 Professions

First of all, Lewis B you are an interview genius. The question you came up with and picked from the community delved so deep into all profession aspects of Guild Wars 2. From creation to innovation it covered it all. And if you haven't seen it already do click here ->

What I would like to do is go over some of my favorite points of the interview. As the interview is fairly long and complex I will briefly describe each.

Firstly, the thief's blinding power sounds superb. "You ground target it, it hits all the enemies in that area and blinds them all and it cloaks all the allies in that area at the same time." I can see multiple PvP uses for this and PvE too. It really slots into the "all classes can do it all" saying. Because this is strictly a support skill in my opinion that could get you and your allies out of a dangerous situation. ArenaNet really has thought of everything!

"I think the ranger pets are terrible right now..." Now for a developer to actually say that about his own game is mind-blowing. ArenaNet is actually seeing their problems and not hiding them from the public. They realize what is wrong with the Pet A.I. and are fixing it. They aren't going to ignore it and maybe slot in a quick patch after release. They are going to do their best to fix it, after all the pets and rangers have to work in unison.

At one point Jon P talks about having 12 professions in the game. They then went to 7, 10, 7 and finalized on 8. This shows they aren't a static group of people and will make changes if necessary. The best way to fix things are to change them or improve them. Even scrap them if it is completely necessary and I am amazed ArenaNet sees this because some companies would not. "Juggernaut" also sounds like it would have been an interesting warrior hybrid. Expansion pack perhaps?

Another thing once again I disliked ArenaNet has fixed. Death Shroud, where casting when not downed would teleport you back to where you casted it once the duration is done. They have not only made it so you stay where you are once the duration is over but it will not be a downed state. It will be a castable spell which is better in my opinion. I think that Necromancers would have been a little too overpowered after death compared to the other professions. Also they mentioned specifically the Elementalist got a nice skill revamp too. They mixed a few and tweaked etc. That should be interesting to play out.

I could go on for ages about all the rich content contained in the interview but might as well find out for yourself. The above is what I found most intriguing to me personally. Feel free to comment on anything you thought was cool about the interview!

Ramble complete, good day!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Wii U

I have a big fear for the Wii U, the cost of all the controllers and stuff you need to actually play. It seems like a great console for having a bunch of friends over for a party or whatever. But then they are talking about using older Wii controllers and the tablet. It seems like the tablet alone will be upwards of $100. I am worried that how much I am willing to spend for all the gadgets needed to play the console enjoyably. I am glad they have allowed the Wii equipment to be carried over but I can see after the Wii U release another improved tablet coming out which you need for certain games. Just like the Wii remote was introduced with the Wii MotionPlus accessory which was required for most of the newer games. Nintendo seems to be making a small fortune off of us gamers jumping out to buy each new game but if we have to stack controller accessories on top that is a little ridiculous. I am unsure whether or not the Wii U will be on my list of consoles to buy in the near future, I don't know if I will have the money with wanting to go into University etc. Money doesn't grow on trees and I probably won't be able to afford each new game and console to roll off the shelves. And the list of games coming this year is a little overwhelming.

Good grief.

Ramble complete, good day!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Guild Wars 2 PAX Prime

The lull in news for Guild Wars 2 is to be expected. I imagine they are working their asses off to get finalized for the conventions this summer. My guess is that PAX Prime will be the biggest of them all. After all  "our entire studio will descend upon PAX Prime...expect big surprises..."

 I would go in heartbeat being only about 5 hours away but I guess all the tickets are sold out? Checking the website it appears so, I might try to find some online or something. It would be a once in a lifetime experience for sure. After all, ArenaNet is going to change the MMORPG gaming world forever. 

The conventions this summer seem to be building up for something big, my guess the open beta! The open beta will be very dependent on the release date so it is very important. I will be fervently playing the beta and reporting bugs like a madman. I will contribute to progressing the bug fixes as fast as possible.

Now as for the next race week I am unsure when this will be. I am going to guess the Asura week will be first as the Sylvari redesign should be a big reveal during one of the conventions. Hopefully ArenaNet has tweaked the Sylvari more and found it's niche in the Guild Wars 2 world.

The suspense is killing me!

Oh and the blog before this I said I would blog each day. And then I miss June 7th... haha. Sorry! Don't hurt me!

Ramble complete, good day!

Monday, 6 June 2011

Attracting The Masses

Guides across the Internet promise fame and glory for your blog. They can give you tips and tricks on how to increase your viewing. I think the best way to improve a blog is to just blog. Sounds silly but I think it is the truth.

So more content on the way. I will aim for a minimum of one blog a day. Throughout the summer it could become a bit harder with vacationing and limited computer access but I will try my best. Maybe even just write them out and transfer it to a computer when I get back. This way a huge influx of material could come out at once boosting my views. Blogging seems like a great way to get my thoughts out to anyone interested. So if you are reading this why not keep an eye on the little establishment I have started here. I take inspiration from a great blogger Ravious from Killtenrats and hope to reach his level eventually. He has such inspiring work and I am amazed by his writing talent. If you haven't already check out Killtenrats on the sidebar to the right. They have an amazing group of bloggers talking about games.

I just hope to really improve my blog and my writing skills. Hopefully I can increase my viewings and build a fanbase. A little money wouldn't hurt either :P

Ramble complete, good day!

E3 Confusion

I am not sure what to make of E3 this year. With Nintendo seeming to come out of E3 stronger then Sony and Microsoft it could be an interesting year. With the new Xbox looking for a 2015 release and a slightly rumored PS4 I have no idea what to think of it. The vast selection of new games coming out this year should give us gamers something to look forward too. 2011 seems like an amazing year to be a gamer and I am glad to be included.

Nintendo's switch to hardcore gaming seems like a reasonable decision. The "family gamers" can have their stupid 3Ds's and Xbox Kinects. This will help them appeal to a larger audience. Nintendo's booth will be buzzing with excitement this year.

For Sony I have no idea, they need something to make it up to the fans. I wouldn't  be surprised if there was some new console reveal but the network problems might have slowed them. All I know is they need something to make it up to the fans, something big.

If only I could have made it to E3, some revolutionary stuff is probably going down.

Ramble complete, good day!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Advertisements Officially Up!

Adsense has approved me I guess. Now I am just really going to experiment and get a feel for it. I don't expect to be bringing in the millions but as I improve my blog and slowly increase my views hopefully I can increase the amount I earn. Hopefully this is the start of something big.

Wish me luck!

Ramble complete, good day!

PS: I find it ironic some World of Warcraft Ads as I blog about Guild Wars 2, just funny :P

Guild Wars 2 Hype Fluctuation

In a perfect world hype would be steadily maintained, you would get information on a regular basis. But that, of course, is not the case. We have moments of high activity like with Guild Wars 2 during summer when the multiple conventions are met. I am extremely excited for this year with the huge plans they have in store for the convention.

I think finally ArenaNet is seeing their magnificent creation near completion. With a mere single profession, one book and missing content our release is right before our eyes. The hype in my opinion is going to build up over the summer and explode by late summer. I absolutely cannot wait for the summer convention surprises as the hype train will be fitted thrusters and take flight.

After that, the sky is the limit. And I hope they go past it.

Ramble complete, good day!

Minecraft 1.7 Adventuring Update

As most of you will probably know already, the 1.7 update for Minecraft will be focused generally, if not entirely, on adventuring. But what though, we have no idea. It seems at E3 Notch will be working on a bit of developement for that (without testing, eep!).

If I stop and think about what I would want for an adventuring update I am not entirely sure. Adventuring... what would that entail? Cities, outposts? Transportation? There is a lot of things that come to mind for me when I think of Adventuring. Travel could be entailed, moving from one place to another. But I am not sure what else he could add? Horses would make sense, vehicles not so much. In the not so distant future I could see some sort of ridable animal make it's way into Minecraft. With the addition of maps this would be useful. A land speed increase entity would be great. For adventuring this could definitely mean underground too. I think some new ores are much needed or even just being able to make obsidian tools. The problem now is what they could do. I mean diamond tools already collect the resources pretty quickly. If Notch maybe gave some new ores and those tools could have special properties. For example maybe a pickaxe that could have a 10% chance of dropping 2x the ore, or a hatchet to do the same. This would be a very cool feature the new tool wouldn't just generically break things faster.

Another aspect of Adventuring could be NPC life. He could add small civilizations you could find and maybe trade with. Maybe finally a currency could be added like coins or something. This would be usefull. Or they could just trade in some other useless item like slime balls.

Adventuring totes at a wide range of addable features. Hopefully Notch can realize what the community is wanting and throw in a nice flavour of his own to these ideas. As the community I would love to see a bunch of these things I said above, and I also would love some of the community to stop complaining. Sometimes if there is something really bad like the 1.6 problems, but some of it is just silly.

Adventuring eh? What a wonderful topic for Minecraft!

Ramble complete, good day!

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Pondering Adsense

Obviously Ads on websites, blogs, flash games etc. make people money. They give people the difference between maintaining a website or not. Some people can live off this and some can not. I am really not sure about the whole concept. I have no idea how much you would make for this kind of ad revenue. Obviously I won't know until I try and I don't expect much. The little blog I have going isn't going to be raking in the cash for me. Even tiny amounts of money to me would be satisfying, to know that my humble though and works were accomplishing it. That a simple 5-10 minutes of my time for a blog could be potentially attracting more people and revenue. I mean hey, with no penalty for trying why not. Millions of people probably make money on the internet and it is simple. Why not do what I love, play and blog about video games while making money! To me that is an amazing concept, to be able to play video games and just blog my thoughts about them bringing in revenue would be surreal. I mean at the moment to start making money simply even small amounts would be awesome. Even if the amount of money I got increased over time this way I could just use this money for University or even more games to blog about. I mean a lot of youtubers get a lot of money from making videos. I myself am not talented in really making videos etc. and so many videos are uploaded each day that my videos just get washed away in the whole tsunami of content. But with blogging I find a much better satisfaction. Sure it may be easier but the time and though is still there. You have to be pretty talented to be able to write stuff people actually want to read. Since blogging uses only one sense of sight and say making videos would use sight and sound. In this way I think us bloggers have to put more thought to make our words jump out of the page at the viewer.

So I will try Adsense. It is not going to hurt anyone, majority of viewers will most likely neglect advertisements anyways. It is a simple advertisement that no one has any obligation to click. Cough. :O

Ramble complete, good day!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Project Zomboid First Gameplay

In a zombie stricken town you play a balding devoted man. His wife hurt badly by some unknown reason, possibly bitten by a zombie. You are thrust into this terrorized town and are left to fend for yourself. Just like you would in real life. The game although still in closed pre-order only alpha shows great promise. At the moment there is just a single fairly linear storyline.

The game throws at you what other zombie survival games don't, realism. Barricading doors and other decisions give the game an experience we could relate too. It gives us a look at the real side of a zombie apocalypse. Hunger, starvation, insanity and mostly survival.

[Spoilers most likely below, don't read if you want to find out for yourself.]

After loading up for the first time and starting my adventure I was amazed at a few simple things. It gives you a very brief tutorial and leaves the rest to you. The first thing you do is tend to your wounded wife. She has a bleeding leg and is bed-stricken. You are also left with the pillow and one fiendish option. Using the pillow on her will smother her, isn't that just awesome! You head to the shed grabbing some hammer, nails and wood. Here you barricade yourself in and sleep the night.

The next morning you head out to scavenge for food. Another house to the east you approach gives you a small taste of combat inside. Here in the kitchen you get to hammer your way through a zombies cranium. And the blood splatter was marvelous. The walls and floor became covered with blood behind where I splattered the zombie. For such a chunky and pixelly game it was amazing. It is just the small details that make a game in my opinion. Now throwing the soup you find in the oven is a very delicate process. Running upstairs while it's cooking your wife will ask "You turned the oven off before you came up here, right?" .......woops. And the fire spreads like mad, what do I do? Panic! I hid in the bathroom upstairs as the zombies broke down the front door and the fire spread quickly. Death quickly followed.

For a first play through it was extremely enjoyable. Realistic consequences plopped me on my but in the bathroom reliving the mistakes as the smoke crept under the door. The surreality of it all was just so amazing. My next playthroughs followed the same fate. Leaving the door open causing a flood of zombies at night, my friendly neighbour dropped by for a quick after-soup shooting to leave me and my wife dead. The next followed me running madly down the street being chased my numerous brain-thirsty zombies.

[Spoiler part ends here!]

Each playthrough ended with me lying dead on the ground, not usually what happens in your average zombie survival game. I never reached no safehouse or found the helicopter to take me away. I didn't blast my way through waves of zombies and find ammo around every corner. It was real. Which will make it so unique once it is a finished product. If you haven't already I say buy it, 5 euros or about 8 canadian and american. Just head on over to With a similar Minecraft buy and free update structure it will be worth it down the road. At the moment don't expent oodles of content though, so wait if you want to purchase with more content.

Ramble complete, good day!