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Category Archives: Games

Information regarding the gaming industry, or perhaps special game related interests.

I’ve just been spending a lot of my limited free time lately (what’s not spent with my family), playing Planetside 2 and Smite.  Both are competitive play games, and being involved with a competitive team, you can imagine the level of  dedication exceeds that of the normal nerd level of play.

Which let me plug my refer-a-friend link in smite while I’m at it.  If you are interested in playing it with me, you can use this link to setup your account.  Just click play for free, and create an account.  If you already played tribes and global agenda you should already have a Hi-rez account and can leverage that.

I know about planetside 2 because you’ve talked about it before, but what is smite?

I’m glad you asked:

Smite is a third-person MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena), a style of action strategy games popularized by DotA (Defense of the Ancients) in the late 90’s early 00’s as a mod for warcraft 3.

The general concept and game mode circles around 2 bases, connected by 3 lanes, that are defended by turrets with a continual line of attackers spawned per lane lovingly referred to as minions.  The minions job is to be countless, and to dive continually to their deaths in the assault on the enemies base.  The job of the player (you) is to insure these minions deaths serve the greater purpose of gaining you experience and gold and to aid in the destruction of turrets and bases by being your fodder.

Sounds easy right?  Yea, it would be if you weren’t facing 5 other players who want to do the same thing, oh, and they want to KILL YOU.  So 5 v 5 action/strategy combat is born.

What separates Smite from other MOBA’s aside from the character concepts is the third person perspective in play and that all abilities and attacks are considered skill shots (meaning you have to aim them).  The games are faster paced than traditional MOBA’s as well which makes it a blast for someone like me to play.

Much like other games in it’s genre there are multiple play types: Arena, Domination, Conquest (traditional mode), Assault (random hero single lane conquest), Joust (1v1), Joust (3v3), and a random game mode referred to as Mode of the Day.  Mode of the day is usually pretty interesting because of some of the silly combinations they come up with forcing some unique character perspectives in play.

If you end up playing, let me know, you can friend me as lot3k (think low tech).

I’m going to make this a very short post, but in a nut shell, sum up my thoughts and primary concern with the chief issue in this upcoming generation right now.


This isn’t a new issue with gaming.  This has been an issue that the PC gaming scene has largely dealt with, going back as far as requiring the CD in drive to play a game.  However I’m not here for a history lesson, but to address a very serious concern I have with Sony not playing ball on this restrictive model.

Publishers (a.k.a. Satan) view any and all content resale as a direct impact on sales revenue.  With this in mind, the Xbox ONE would appear to be a more preferable platform for developers/publishers.  So my concern is the loss of certain publisher support for the Playstation platform as a whole.

However, my 2 cents.  I don’t care because most of my gaming is done on a PC where I’m already happily a slave (in large part) to this no resale business model (THANKS STEAM FOR MAKING IT SO EASY! <3) .  I (speaking out of the other side of my mouth now) can’t support this business model and will not be contributing money towards it, eventhough 9/10 of my video game purchases are retail.  Perhaps Microsoft will work things out in similar fashion as valve so the consumers see a return through game price drops and crazy summer sales, but from what I’m reading, that doesn’t seem likely.

So I’ve been playing Planetside 2 lately.  I’ve been playing as New Conglomerate with an outfit called The Iron Wolves [TIW] on Waterson.  Coincidentally Planetside 2 is heading towards MLG and in the war report interview this past Sunday Higby in an interview with Alex “Jax” Conroy has revealed a lot of what that will entail (finally!).

Anyway, I’ve not made a post since mother’s day so I thought I’d link the youtube replay of our match from this past Friday against VREV and TRAF.  The second objective battle is by far one of the best (in around 10 minutes), with the third base capture having some entertaining points.

Is addictive…. link

But seriously, the game is absolutely a blast.  RPG meets Tower Defense meets Hack and Slash… I’d write more, but I’m going to go back and play.

Nothing serious here, but I just can’t stop laughing at this RPG Motivational poster….
fake it till you make it

D&D Rogues get it…

So, in the midst of the holiday season I’ve not had a lot of time to blog, if I’ve had time it’s been spent either coding or playing one of the many games that have been coming out this holiday season.

This past week I took some time off to get away with my wife and and spend some time alone while my mother in law watched the kids.  I can’t begin to express how amazing it was to just relax with my wife and enjoy each others company.  To sit and talk, uninterrupted about something other than the work or kids.  We also went to see courageous while we were together.  We really enjoyed it, and it was nice to see a movie that we both could enjoy that covered values that we agree with.

It was especially nice considering the time was intended for us to grow together and reconnect.  This offered us that opportunity, and we have our in laws to thank for that.  Of course all good things must come to an end and this was no different.  We then spent the rest of the week with family, enjoying ourselves, but wearing ourselves out as well.  Games, kids, food, sickness, and well, family (and all that implies).

As far as gaming is concerned I’ve been through and am currently playing: battlefield 3 (pc), Assassin’s Creed Revelations (ps3), Resistance 3 (ps3), gears of war 3 (360), Uncharted 3 (ps3), Skyrim (pc), and swtor beta (pc).  I’ve so far, omitted batman arkham city and modern warfare 3.  I’ll be throwing some more technical blogs up later I’d suspect, especially involving some things I have going building an sccm health check script that’s fairly comprehensive yet light weight.  We’ll see how that goes.

For those wondering, I still don’t have any news on my current job situation.  So until I’m told otherwise, I am employed.  I suppose I’ll make it through my holiday’s with it from the way things look, but you never know.  Thanks for those praying for me during this time, they are always welcome.

That’s about it for my update, until next time, have a happy holiday.

So over this holiday weekend I beat infamous 2 as hero, with full blast shards, and dead drops.  Outside of the hard difficulty setting and the infamous trophies I’m well on my way to earning the platinum one in this game.

I really enjoyed the first Infamous, so I’m kind of kicking myself that I waited as long as I did to grab this one, but I digress.  I wanted to take a minute or two to sum up my impressions of the story continuation, gameplay, and overall aesthetics.  So let’s dive in.



The story does a pretty decent job of picking up right where the first one left off.  Cole is aware of the risk and is working a former NSA agent named Kuo to increase his powers through the help of Dr Wolfe in New Marias (think New Orleans).  As we are loading into the boat, who else should appear, but “The Beast”.

I was pleased that they would throw together a large set piece like this to open with and really kind of prepare you for the game.  It was also a good, narrative, piece to resetting your character a bit.  I mean Mario’s princess has to be in another castle, and no hero can STAY an end game powerhouse at the start of their sequel right?  So a minor tick back after a massive, yet futile, battle with the beast and a short boat ride later we are in New Marias searching for Dr Wolfe who is under siege by an anti-conduit militia.  Long story short, the lab explodes, blast shards you need to power up are spread everywhere and it’s time to start working on earning respect through love or fear begins anew. 

So instead of continuing to explain and spoil the entire story I’ll briefly touch on some things I really enjoyed about this that’s new, or part of what I enjoyed from the storytelling in the first game.

  • Dead drops are still present, I’m a storyline nerd, so these little insights into back story and character development leave me foaming at the mouth. (29 total)
  • The story twists and turns, although no startling revelations like that from the first infamous, still some interesting shifts in the story dynamic.  Game Informer accused the story of being convoluted and losing sight of the primary focus, I could see where they would get that impression, somewhere in the middle of the game the beast becomes less a concern, but still serves as the major tie in towards the end.
  • 2 new conduit partners to kick it with, good and evil as would be expected, but even that serves as a surprising plot twist for you towards the end of game.  I’ve learned not to expect a game developer, aptly titled, Sucker Punch to give me a straight shot. 🙂
  • Multiple factions, not that you can CHOOSE between the factions, but at the start of the game I was a bit afraid the militia would be my only enemy choice.  It didn’t take them long either to start introducing the additional baddies either.



Now lets discuss the gameplay.  If Cole was a beast in Infamous, well in Infamous 2 he’s a titan.  The introduction of so many varied skills, ionic abilities, and mobility options; you’re never really left to one option.  The combat (especially later in the game) manages to stay fresh, and for me, something you look forward to.  I didn’t like riding trolley lines as much as the train, or the inability to drain while grinding, but these are minor concerns.  They did add vertical rails to grind, and that’s a change I’ll take gladly.  I’m also looking forward to seeing what and how they are going to branch the skill sets for the evil faction on my second play through (I saved evil for my second option since I was going to play on hard, AoE and reckless abandon make that far easier to do). 

The exploration vertical as well as horizontal is still in tact, and towards the end of the game especially becomes increasingly more fun to see how fast you can zip around New Marias.  I’ll never get tired of the insane speed from grinding and flying around the city.  Which was good, because you will be doing a lot of that.  It’s an open world game, so exploration is just as important to the full experience as completing the missions.

The User Generated Content is a nice addition for fun that they added, and as would be expected, ranges from really impressive to “how do I abort this mission?”  The creator is simple enough to use, and well, the rest depends on how creative you are feeling.


Now, the aesthetics.  I’ll say this first, I did miss the vertical nature of empire city.  I even missed the junk yard type environment, initially.  However what I found offered by New Marias was more style, and character, with considerably greater environmental hazards.  These also work towards the gameplay challenge and in some cases combat creativity (flood town, water, lightning, bad guys).

They did a great job of taking a dreary environment and splashing it with color to keep it appealing, as well as to incorporate huge set pieces and a larger more destructible environment to create a greater sense of power. 

Yes, and the obvious, Cole looks different, and he sounds different.  5 minutes into the game and I had forgotten what the original Cole looked or sounded like. 

Speaking of sound, between the music, sound effects, and ambient sound in the game it’s as much a game to hear as to see and that also goes a long way with me. 

In the end, if you own a PS3, there is no excuse not to have this game in your library.  The added UGC, and enticement for secondary play through really helps add to the value of the investment.

So I’ve been waiting for Brink to release for some time now.  Both my brother and I had it on pre-order and were ready to go day of release.  The day came, we grabbed it, installed it, then went to play it online together…

Now, I’ve read a lot of what people have been saying about this game and I have to agree, it fell flat, now we found a few games last night where he and I got to really throw down and have a blast, but the responsiveness was barely tolerable.  Anyone who remembers the old quake days before QWC and client detection, it was like that.

Visually the game looks great, well, most of the time.  I am still having anomalies with texture and mapping loads.  I’ve also had some bizarre issues of not being able to connect to my own game server…. yea, go figure that one out.

Overall the customization, and the play mechanics, I actually enjoy.  The slide tackling, and melee knockdowns.  The parkour (although at first rough) has really proven itself as a great new play style option.  However, if this multiplayer synching issue doesn’t get solved, I don’t think I’m going to see my money’s worth out of this title.

(Just spoke with my brother, he’s been on playing all morning, he told me that it appears to be running smooth today.)

So I’ll follow up on this, perhaps all is not lost!

Ok, so this has been out as a retail release for more than a year. (Originally released in Feb of 2010) I remember being completely psyched for this game.  A Sci-Fi FPS MMO made by a company about 2 hours from my house, what’s not to love?



Long story short, I’m not sure what happened but I never ended up buying it because of my new job and how busy I became etc.  However they just recently went FtP (Free to Play) and with a price like that it’s hard NOT to play right?

Anyway, lets keep this simple:

Graphically, the game has a very stylized look.  Nothing amazing per say, but it has a clean look about it.  The interface, although functional, feels and looks a bit clunky.  It would be nice for a native method to scale it down, but overall the games appearance is sharp enough that it remains appealing.

Sound wise, the game is alright.  Though admittedly the music gets turned down rather fast so I can hear people run around in pvp.  The sound is clear enough, and diverse enough that you can use them for audible cues.

Gameplay, well I will say this first off.  I like the gameplay, the mechanics, the pve (surprisingly) and the competitive play.  I did not however, start out liking them.  The simplest way that I can put it is this, there is an amazing simplicity to the 4 class system that works, and enough diversity play style wise to keep me entertained.  The 4 classes are:

Assault: General tank and heavy artillery.  The class take and deal a considerable amount of damage when speced properly and in pvp can be a king for offensive objective control.

Recon: Stealth? Melee? Sniper? Yea that about sums the class up.  Very very sneaky.

Medic: Poisons and heals.  Decent damage if required to fight.  Overall this class plays well in pve and pvp for their healing and general CC utility.

Robotics: Turrets, drones, heal stations, and recharge stations.  The assault in pvp can be the offensive objective king, but a robotics player is the defensive one.  Similar to medic in the amount of versatility, but forced largely to choose mobility or survivability.

Each class has 3 trees, one of which is a universal tree called balance.  The other 2 are class specific that focuses on play style specialties.  For instance, assault is: balance, tank explosive. 

I can honestly say as well from my perspective, that balance seems very real.  I have yet to be on any particular class and just feel as if I am hopelessly lost against a particular pairing.  Like any class based shooter, you should expect limitations to your role, and respond to fill it.

At the same time, the min maxing that people enjoy from other MMO titles exists here as well, so it IS capable to get an edge, it’s not the kind of thing that is out of hand.  To be honest with you, I feel CoD titles are less in balance with unlocks than this title is.

Another point of interest is the AvA system, achievements, PvE instances, and just random loot hunting that turns this into a very fun and addictive title.  I highly recommend you give it a try (it’s free after all) and just play your way up to 20.  You might be surprised, and feel free to contact me in game.


Global Agenda