Restarting the Blog! X-Wing is my new friend

Haven’t touched this thin in a lonnnnnng time.

Probably time to.

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I’ve really done a 360 on my hobbying. While previously a closet 40k player (Blood Angels, Dark Eldar, Orks), I have entire rid myself of anything to do with Games Workshop. While I still love the amazing stories they produce and love looking at the new pretty models produced monthly, I can’t bring myself to invest in a game system I no longer believe in.

With that being said, I have sold all my 40k armies and most residual gaming system to which I am not currently vested in.

Currently, my main systems are;

  1. X-Wing
  2. Firestorm Armada
  3. D&D
  4. Dystopian Wars

And that’s it. Even Dystopian Wars has taken a serious back burner compared to the others.

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X-Wing has seriously taken my attention these last few months. The game system is surprisingly easy to understand and quick to pick up for almost anyone. I’ve expanded into both Rebels and Imperial as both offer different play styles that offer new ways to play.

Right now, I probably favor Imperials more, simply because of the current meta which focuses on hitting hard and flying out of arc like a mad man.

As a part of my pledge to restarting this blog, I plan to post as many of the games I play with simple battle reports (with pictures of course).

Can’t wait to get back into this.

 

A New Chapter!

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Rejoice! Exams are finished and life is easy once again! It has been a long and grueling semester, but totally worth it. Of course now it is time to dive back into Firestorm Armada headfirst!

I have a few goals to complete this summer are;

1) Paint my ENTIRE Directorate Fleet
2) Build all of my Flight wings
3) Construct at least one planet
4) Build some more asteroids
5) Finish painting my board (nebula effect)
6) Get in at least 1 game every few weeks
7) Play at least 1 game of Dystopian Wars

Okay so lots to do, but it should be fun to accomplish all of this. Anyways I will leave it at that for now! Over the next couple of days I want to do a showcase how to make your own fighter tokens from bergstrom models, complete my 3 part free to play computer game series, and determine my paint scheme for the my Directorate Fleet.

Anyways I will leave it at that! I am looking forward to posting more and continuing my original goal of at least once a week.

Gaming and Business

Been a while since I posted anything so it seems like the perfect time to rant about something.

I am currently a second year business student majoring in marketing. I really enjoy learning about how other businesses conduct/run their businesses. Recently there has been a lot of new Massively Multiplayer Online games introduced into the market. Obviously you have your classics; Eve online, World of Warcraft, etc. Today there are a number of MMO’s all fighting for a small piece of the market. Last year, Star Wars the Old Republic was released and raised the bar of MMO gaming with full voice over. Guild Wars 2 released in summer 2012, was a pleasent update the the classic Guild Wars. Interestingly enough both of these games and the classics have seen massive subscription declines. Why?

Well ultimately this is a normal situation of the product life-cycle. product-adoption-lifecycle

Basically as when an MMO gets announced it seeks “beta-testers” these are generally the innovators and the early adopters. They give important feedback on the game as well as entice them into purchasing the game for full price. At open beta you see more early adopters and at launch the early majority. These individuals are willing to pay full freight for the game and enjoy it regardless of bugs etc.

When an MMO reaches this point they fall right on their faces. For example, SWTOR got to this point had enticed all its early adopters and majority but had no endgame planned (by endgame I mean plan to adapt and restart the product life-cycle). Users quickly lose inters because there is no new content or the new content offered doesn’t appeal or is too late.

Ok, so what happens then?

Well, no surprise the product goes right through the cycle. Late adopters won’t pay the subscription and the game loses is revenue stream. Give it another year and the community for the game is gone.

World of Warcraft may be the exception to this but, ultimately they grasped this with the massive expansions (Pandera, Lich King, etc.) to restart the life-cycle.

So what is the problem?

I think that more games could be successful if designers recognize when its time to restart the cycle. This is easier said than done but having a real plan in the works will extend the game life and ultimately make the experience more fun. I wish I could still play SWTOR but there is no community, no one to run flashpoints with or heroics.

At the same time the revenue streams for games like SWTOR need to be redesigned from the ground up. This means changing from subscription to something else. I don’t know what that something else is but maybe raise the purchase price. I for one would rather pay $80 for a game and never pay for a subscription. But hey that’s just me.

Daskeyboard Review

So I was super excited to get my das keyboard on Monday and WOW I was not let down. The simplistic design does not due the key board justice. As a a heavy typist, I tend to bottom out my keys quite a bit and was a little worried the mx cherry blue switches would be too noisy. Yes they are noisy, as I am typing this it is hard to not notice the sound they make. Despite this its in a lot of ways “refreshing” from the experience using a standard membrane keyboard. About a year ago when I built my gaming PC, I debated getting a Das or a Razer Blackwidow. In the end I went with neither and ended up with a Steelseries Merc Stealth for about a 1/3 less than the previous two. I realize now the mistake since I was incited by its gaming advantages and not its overall typing advantages. The extra keypad became a nuisance when not in use and the LED’s were pretty much extra fancy novelties that I hardly noticed. It was packaged very nicely and require no drives or extra setup to use, just plug it in and boom your in business. I hope this keyboard will not only encourage me to type more but also to type better. While I overall prefer tenkeyless keyboards better, aesthetically and because they take up significantly less space. Fortunately the Das seems to have a more compact design than a standard keyboard. Not tenkeyless, but smaller dividers between the numb pad and arrow keys which essentially create a smaller keyboard. Typing just feels more natural as you can feel every key depress regardless of weather or not you bottom them out.
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In gaming the Das Keyboard has proven to be just as reliable as my previous Steelseries Merc Stealth. The tactile feedback helps recognize my hot key presses without visually ensuring. I noticed a particular improvement in my speed while playing Starcraft 2. Before getting my Das calculated my WPM on TypeRacer.com. Before I was doing a max 52 WPM and now with my Das I maxed at 66 WPM which is the fastest score I have ever had.

A few minor issues that I have with the Das;
1. Sometimes the reverberation of the springs can be annoying but overall its slowly becoming less noticeable the more I use it.
2. Most of the keyboard sports a matte finish except the top which is glossy and attracts finger prints and dusty easily. I have only has this keyboard a few days and already I have wiped with down twice due to dust.
3. While I never really noticed my LED’s as much in my old Steelseries Merc Stealth I do notice the lack of them in the Das. This is probably my smallest complaint but since the media keys are blue and not white like the others then they tend to blend in quite a bit making them hard to distinguish in low light.

Sick with a damn cold… time to write a review!!

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Bugger, caught some stupid bug which has been floating around my house since Christmas. I figured I would just take the weekend easy and recoup before going back to college on Wednesday by writing a review on my new Das Keyboard. Unfortunately it hasn’t arrived yet, so instead I will be doing a review on a game that I have been playing a lot of lately, Chivalry.
Class Screenshot
Chivalry is a first-person combat game focusing on online multilayer battles between two factions, the Knights of Agatha and the Mason Order. You pick between one of four classes; Archer, Men at Arms, Vanguard, and Knight. Each class has is strengths and weaknesses, and can choose between a variety of medieval weapons ranging from bastard long swords to morning star maces. Combat varies for each class, but it is fast paced and exciting. Every class can perform three types of attacks; a jab or thrust, horizontal slash, or an overhead vertical slash. Due the variety in attack types, combat becomes a fast be methodical dance between you and your opponent, stabbing, swiping, and cutting to get under their guard or mistimed blocks. In the swirl of melee it becomes paramount to recognize friends from foes and pick the right attack at the right time to not just kill your opponent but at the same time not cutting the head off of your mate next to you.
I cut that guy
A very interesting mechanism in the game is adrenaline. As you make attacks, blocks, sprint, feints, ect, you use a small amount of adrenaline. Adrenaline is represented by a yellow bard in the lower left-hand side of the screen. In the fury of combat it becomes important to manage your adrenaline to maximize your attacks. Constant attacks and blocks will deplete your adrenaline and make you unable to block when the next attack comes. At first you don’t really notice the drain but it quickly becomes more apparent as you play and make multiple kills in a row.

Personally I most enjoy playing team objective over the other game types available. Fighting a against enemies trying to push a disease ridden corpse wagon into a sewer is just cool. It makes that battles much more meaningful and generally last longer.
Arm cut off
Chivalry does have its shortcomings. I find that the game has a constant bug when you run to close to an ally. For example at the beginning of a game when you and your allies run out of the spawn area it seems that your character gets stuck on the others. Its kind of hard to explain without experiencing it first hand, but i gets somewhat annoying. Also, since there are two speeds in the game walking and sprint (which is pretty much unlimited) you spend pretty much all of your time holding the shift button. This seems redundant since sprint is practically unlimited and users who don’t have a keyboard with N key roll over will experience the issue of having to many keys depressed for the game to recognize.
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Regardless this is currently one my favorite games to play right now. I can’t remember where i read this but a reviewer wrote that, “Chivalry is an easy game to learn and a hard game to master”. I think that sums up the game nicely, you can run around pressing LB all day as a vanguard with a longsword without learning any of the mechanics of the game and still do fine but a user can also take the time to learn how the game works and use that understanding to master different and sometimes more fun weapons.

Anyways I encourage anyone reading this to pick the game up off steam, its $20 and by far the best game I have purchased on steam in a while.

Next post will hopefully be on my Das Keyboard. If not then its Infinity the miniature skirmish game or some stuff about my gaming pc setup and ideas for improvement/ overclocking.

Starship Bridge Simulator

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Last night I joined a few friends in, what I would consider, a very accurate representation of a Star Trek bridge battle.. scenario.. thing…simulation… Ok, it was awesome basically you purchase this program called Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator You and your friends then take the positions on the ships bridge with your own computers and fight against the computer in scenarios generated by the game. There are 6 positions;

1. Helm: drives the ship basically thrusters, warp, facing ect.
2. Weapons: controls the weapons systems which are torpedo’s and beams (lasers)
3. Engineering: manages power of they ships different systems and distribution of coolant reserves
4. Science: i think they should just call this sensors since there really is no science involved but i digress, you scan the enemy ships and determine the classification and shield harmonics (a-e) of the enemy ships
5. Communications: manages all communications between NPC ships and space stations and also the ability to hail enemy ships to taunt or ask for them to surrender
6. Captain: the Captain is obviously the guy in charge. When we played we mostly yelled at one another to do stuff since we had no idea what we were doing and I was managing both Coms and Science. With enough people you can have each station filled and a captain to plan how things are done. The captain can have his own computer, but its no a requirement. You can get by with just watching the main tactical display and listening to updates from officers.

The simulation can be fairly challenging at some points and without constant communication its hard to not get killed. Each position works toward succeeding in the goals of the ship. Engineering needs to overclock or booster certain ship functions at certain times. Sensors needs to get the harmonics, helm needs to coordinate weapons so they are facing the target, communications needs to instruct npc space stations to build torpedo’s and nukes for the weapons of your ship. At one time there can be a lot going on.

As said before, last night I was the Communications officer and Science officer for a bit until we had a few more people. Science was fun you have the most information on screen compared to the other positions. Knowing the weakest shield harmonics of the enemy ship (a-e) is important information to be relayed to weapons so they can do maximum damage to the enemy ships.

All in all it was a blast, I’m not doing the simulation justice in my explanation. Not that this game is overly complex but, its a little difficult to explain. I’, sincerely looking forward to doing this again with a full crew and a more “bridge” like setup to enhance the experience and maybe next time I will take some photos of the setup as well.