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Troy, NY, United States
A blog to talk about my random gaming thoughts.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Exams still suck

Finished my paper on the effect of weather and water quality on the population of Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets in Elkhorn Slough for ecology, onward to studying for differential equations and neurobiology.  Three days left, then done with college, such a weird feeling.

Until then, enjoy the Tribes inspired video that I find far funnier than it probably is.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Torchlight 2

Happened to luck my way into a Torchlight 2 beta key today and had the chance to play it a bit while taking a break from working on a paper.  If you're unfamiliar with Torchlight, it's a Diablo "clone" made by Runic Games, which I believe is made up of many of the old team members that made Diablo in the first place.  Torchlight 2 feels really similar to the original so far, with the major additions of a much more expansive world (think going from Diablo in just Tristram, to Diablo 2) and the addition of multiplayer.

Playing the Embermage class and having a good time so far.  Only had the chance to play up to the first boss tonight, but had a good time.  Was nice and easy to just jump into a game and catch up to someone that was working their way through the first zone and start killing stuff with them.  If you're a fan hack and slash games like Diablo, it's a great game to check out, the original is $15.00 on steam and is single player only (demo available), or you can pre-order Torchlight 2 and get a copy of the first as well.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Kickstarter Craziness

Not about video games specifically, but if you've followed any video game news recently, you've probably heard of Kickstarter by now.  If you haven't, the idea is pledging money directly to the design team of the game to help fund the game directly, as well as prove to investors that there's interest in the game.  The big part of this, is that it cuts out the publisher, meaning there's no one breathing down everyone's neck with deadlines and rushing a game to meet a crucial release date.  Looking at Mass Effect 3 and it's terrible ending, it's becoming obvious that rushing games to meet a release date is becoming a problem.

The system itself is interesting, giving seasoned veterans of the industry a chance to make sequels to, or games in the same style as their old classics, and giving new comers a chance to pitch their idea directly to consumers rather than to a big name publisher.  I don't know of any big name games yet that have actually finished, but with big name titles like Wasteland 2 and a Shadowrun sequel on the way, it should be interesting to see how well this ends up working, or if it will break down due to broken promises.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Diablo III: Wrath

So the final D3 teaser got unlocked yesterday.  A lot of people seem to be complaining about it because they don't like the art style for it, but whatever, I love it.  It was done by Peter Chung, the animator behind Aeon Flux and Titmouse Inc., the guys behind Metalocalypse.

The video itself is an interesting look at the back story to the Diablo games with the war between Heaven and Hell and reminds me why I've always loved the angels in the Diablo story.  They aren't really forces of good dedicated to protecting the innocent or anything like that.  They're vicious warriors whose only goal is to destroy the forces of Hell.  Anything else, like the mortal realm of Sanctuary in the games, is just another battleground to be fought over.  They would rather destroy all of Sanctuary in favor of losing it to Hell, and in fact would have already had Tyrael not voted against Imperius in favor of humanity when Sanctuary was first discovered.  It should be really interesting to see where they take the story for the Diablo III as they've left open so many possibilities from the books.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tribes: Ascend - Tartarus Patch

Major Highlights
  • A new CTF map has been added, Tartarus.
  • A new Arena map has been added,  Hinterlands.
  • Users may now configure up to four pre-established loadouts per class. These can be used to more quickly switch between favored configurations for each class. Loadout slots are purchasable using XP or Gold.  
  • Users may now QUICK SWITCH between classes and loadouts while in a match using the “NUMPAD ENTER” key (default). This is an alternate way to change classes/loadouts versus using the Class Select menu ("I" Screen) that does not require you to open the game menu and is much faster.
  • Users will now be presented with a customized “DEAL OF THE DAY.” This is a deal tailored to the individual and presents special pricing on an item that the user does not already own. The timer for the deal of the day resets at the same time as the timer for the First Win of the Day.
  • The gold packages have been changed. The $30 and $50 packages now give significantly more bonus gold than previous, but do not include an XP booster. Users continue to earn permanent VIP status (which increases XP gain by 50% after their first real-money purchase).
  • IMPORTANT USABILITY NOTE: With this release, you always close the console window using the ESCAPE key. You can no longer close the console window using the same key that launches the console (default “tilde”).  This is necessary to solve issues when people rebind that key, as well as on some countries’ keyboard layouts.

Weapon/Balance Items

  • Shrike price reduced on public servers to 4000.
  • Beowulf price reduced on public servers to 2500.
  • Gravcycle price reduced on public servers to 500.
  • Reduced the amount of knockback the flag receives from explosions in air (reducing punting).
  • New Accolades have been added:
    • Investor: Earned every 2 minutes that a Base Radar or Generator that you upgraded remains online.
    • Turret Support: Earned if a Base Turret you upgraded gets a kill.
    • Hot Air: Earned for getting a mid-air kill with the Plasma Gun. (Replaces Air-Mail).
  • An exit speed cap of 200kph has been added to the Shrike.
  • Fixed an issue in which the Pathfinder’s Thrust Pack could sometimes not correctly thrust the player.
  • Fixed an issue in which the Pathfinder’s Light Assault Rifle was not always firing three rounds.

Custom Server Notes

  • XP is now rewarded on password protected servers so long as at least 8 people participate in a match.
  • Server owners can now choose between multiple spawn types. This includes Normal spawning, Naked Pathfinder, and Core spawning (Pathfinder, Soldier, and Juggernaut with unlocks).
  • Fixed a bug in which configuration options would not be saved properly in some cases. This audio/video settings, custom servers, etc.
  • Fixed a bug in which servers would go offline and require a manual restart after the overall game servers were restarted.
  • Variety of other minor cleanups and fixes.

Additional Items

  • Fixed an issue where the jet-only option for a keybind was jump jetting instead.
  • Fixed an issue where the whiteout grenade could cause the permanent loss of IFF’s in certain situations.
  • Deaths from hitting a player equipped with the Super Heavy perk will now play a splat sound.
  • Fixed an issue where projectile explosion sounds and effects wouldn’t play in certain situations in close-quarter combat.
  • Fixed an issue where inventory and vehicle stations weren’t properly updated when the generator went online or offline.
  • Fixed an issue where meleeing while zoomed could cause the zoomed-in reticule to still be active after you released the zoom button.
  • Fixed an issue where throwing a grenade while spawning a vehicle could leave the player without weapons.
  • Fixed an issue where the firing sound would not properly stop on constant-fire weapons after a reload.
  • Fixed an issue where de-cloaking with a call-in active would display the wrong active call-in information.
  • Fixed an issue where reloading a weapon while zoomed would not properly resume zooming when the reload had finished.
  • Vehicle stations have been added to Outskirts Capture and Hold.
  • Fixed an issue where vehicle station markers were not displaying in Capture and Hold.
  • Fixed an issue where player input wasn’t being properly reset at the end of a round in Arena.  
  • Fixed a client crash when placing deployables (i.e. Doombringer’s Force Field, Technician’s Light Turret, etc) in certain areas when roaming.
  • Fixed an issue where players weren’t able to place a deployable on certain areas of the flag stand of Katabatic.
  • Fixed various UI presentation bugs.
  • Performance optimizations done on Arx Novena aqueducts.
  • Fixed an issue with the voting keybinds, they have now been restored to their previous values (F5 for no, F6 for yes).

So far I'm liking everything.  The new map is pretty sweet, the punt and shrike nerf will make competitive play a bit more interesting on maps like Crossfire and the fix on the whiteout grenades means they should get unbanned for tourneys now.  Haven't tried the loadout features yet, but hopefully you can rebind it since I play on a laptop that doesn't have a numpad, or at least not an easily usable one. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

No actual post today

Studying for a neurobiology exam that's tonight, so I'll just leave you with a random Tribes: Ascend video instead.  Enjoy.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Exams are killer

How am I supposed to write about games when all my time is spent studying?  Last classes on Tuesday though so I should find time to play in between then and worrying about finals.