Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I'm Pretty Sure Something Happened Yesterday....

...oh yeah.  Wildstar went F2P.

No, I didn't get in. (Work, you know.)

Yes, I downloaded the update.  Overnight.

When I get the chance --and there's some significant downtime around the house-- I'll try to get into the game and see what's what. I don't expect the game to change much as far as the initial storyline goes, but we'll see.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Some Wednesday Humor

In case you missed it when Dorkly came out with this on April 22, here's a link to Six Parts of WoW that are more Messed up than you Realized.

It's fairly accurate as far as it goes --I'm not gonna nitpick or anything-- but it is worth a few chuckles.

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Future looks a lot like crowds and long lines

Last Sunday was my first attendance at a college fair since I was a high school senior, close to 30 years ago.*

To say it was chaos was likely an insult to chaos' dignity.

Take this college fair and double it in size
(due to the size of the convention center) and you've got the idea.
I saw buses from school districts about 60 miles (96 km) away parked outside.

While the oldest mini-Red and I were dodging crowds that surrounded the popular schools that she had no interest in**, I couldn't help but notice the number of booths devoted to universities and schools that specialized in graphics, media, and gaming.

My first thought on seeing those booths was that they're going to be not having a lot of students interested in them, particularly given the number of students who were interested in engineering, medical, or business degrees. However, every time we passed one of their booths by there were always two or three families there, talking to the representatives.

Perhaps there's room for graphics and media schools alongside the more traditional art schools after all.


Speaking of room for things, I've been spending the past few days checking this particular game out:

Yes, the exact same name I used for my first Gunslinger in SWTOR.
Makes it easier to remember, you know.

Yes, Wildstar still has the same storyline as I remembered it.

Yes, Wildstar still has the classic "women in refrigerators" trope on the Exiles side as motivation for a major NPC.

That said, I'm more curious about Wildstar now that we are rapidly approaching the end of the month and the F2P release.

I think they've got some work to do as far as working the bugs out (given that I've had a crash or two when playing via the PTR), but I think they'll be ready come release time.

The story is still (relatively) appealing to me, and I think I can swallow the heavy dose of Texas-influenced Hollywood Western on the Exiles side without it getting too annoying. The things that had me scratching my head in my previous exposure to Wildstar haven't changed, but because I'd not have to pay a subscription for the privilege of being mildly inconvenienced I'm much more interested in the game now.

Does that make me one of the "I won't play it if it isn't for free!!!" crowd? Not really, because I would subscribe --and presently do-- to games that I really do enjoy. However, I don't want to plunk down money without knowing that I'm really going to enjoy the game. There were enough reservations about Wildstar that made me reluctant to pull that trigger and subscribe, and I'm fine with that assessment. Now that it's F2P, I'm revisiting the game under a different set of criteria with a lower bar, and I've found that the game does merit an extended revisit.

Maybe I still won't subscribe, but I'll be more likely to consider it now that I can immerse myself more into Wildstar without worrying about whether the game was worth subscribing for.

*I said "CLOSE TO", not "exactly". NOTE THAT. (And no, I don't know why I used all caps there.)

**Some universities, such as Bowling Green State University, University of Cincinnati, and others made a deliberate attempt to spread their prospective crowds out by renting multiple booth spaces. But others --and I'm looking at you, Ohio State, Alabama, and Rose Hulman Institute of Technology-- did not follow suit, causing huge knots to form in the crowd.

Saturday, September 12, 2015


I was watching this trailer again the other day, and I kept thinking that this would be an awesome game to play. But why did it have to be a First Person Shooter? As much as I try, I can only play an FPS game for about five minutes before the headaches start.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Let the Fall Frenzy Begin

I see Wildstar has committed to a date of September 29th for its F2P rollout, which means that the Fall release/announcement craziness has begun.

Now, let me see if I've got all this right:

  • LOTRO's server transfers are presently ongoing. The first server closures are expected to begin sometime either later in September or early October. The mini-Reds have been following these developments closely, and while they're sad to see their old server go, they're kind of excited that my long suffering L15 Champion will get moved to the server they're on, so I could join their Kinship.
  • Wildstar's F2P releases on September 29th. They get ahead of the rush for SWTOR's and GW2's October releases, and they're hoping to bring back some of the crowd they had that first month or two after launch. I'm planning on signing up for the game, so this is one person they didn't have at launch, but I'm realistic in that I've got a lot of games I play a little bit of. We'll see how things look, I suppose.
  • GW2's Heart of Thorns releases on October 23rd. Depending on who you talk to, this could be the dawning of the apocalypse or just business as usual. Me, I'm still playing the original GW2 release --and I don't see me having money in the budget for Heart of Thorns for a while-- so I'm planning on sticking with GW as-is for the time being.
  • SWTOR's Knights of the Fallen Empire releases on October 27th. Since this is my only subscription at this time, I get the expac for free, if you want to ignore the cost of a subscription, that is. As I typically do when there's a big expac in a game I play a lot of, I'll let everyone else run ahead for a while and then jump into the expac zone. Since you won't be able to go back and visit the old zones once you move to KotFE areas, I intend to hang around and enjoy things in the original areas as long as possible.
  • Funcom's Age of Conan rolled out a new expac back in May to coincide with AoC's seventh anniversary (where did the time go?), so they beat the rush. That said, they're still coming out with incremental updates that are currently in the test server.
  • Star Trek Online's final chapter in the current expansion (the Iconian War) is set to drop sometime in mid-late September. There's a new expac on the horizon --called A New Dawn-- will be released sometime this Fall and go through 2016. Since I'm still in the mid-low areas for STO, this doesn't have a great impact to me.
  • Neverwinter released Strongholds, and that reminded me that I ought to get back to playing the game more. I'd played around with it every so often, but my problem is that I figure I'm playing for a little while and then I look up and realize it's 4 AM.
  • Blizzcon is the first week of November. Given that this is Blizzard we're talking about here, expect some new surprises. After all, that's pretty much what they do at Blizzcon.

I think I touched on most of the bases of games that I follow. That said, I'd be remiss in forgetting that LEGO Dimensions releases for consoles at the end of September. Me, I'm psyched about getting a chance to play the Doctor.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


(This is something new for PC, a short piece of fiction that I'd had rattling in my head for a little while. It's not going to be a regular feature of the blog, but I felt that I had to do something with it or it'd just drive me crazy.)

"Not interested."

I flicked the sabacc cards onto the table and frowned. Some days you simply can't get the card you're looking for.

The Rodian leaned across the table, spreading his hands over the chips. "Unless you're made of credits, I'd say my offer couldn't have come at a better time," he said, sweeping the pile to join his own sizable mound of chips.

He had a point. I figured that I couldn't lose with my hand and tossed in a few extra chips, but the little sneak managed to pull that one out of his snout. Again. I glanced around the cantina, but I didn't see anyone interested enough in the game for them to be tipping that little slimeball off.

I decided I'd had enough losing for one day. "Look," I replied, "I'm not a big fan of war zones. Somebody could get their ship shot out from underneath them."

"I thought you were one of the best pilots in the Mid Rim." The Rodian began stacking my --now his-- chips, making a thrumming noise in his throat.

"One of the best pilots alive, and I prefer to stay that way." I pushed myself away from the sabacc table and began to stand up.

"Not even for fifty thousand?"

I froze. "How much again?"

"Fifty thousand."

I sat back down. That amount of credits would keep me comfortable on Coruscant for a long time, let alone Nar Shadda. "What's the cargo? And you'd better not say 'a Hutt'."

The Rodian slowly pushed a stack of chips to one side. "It's a war zone. What do war zones need the most?"


"Well, that too," he said, scrunching his snout, "but there's not as much money in kolto as there is in weapons."

"What sort of weapons? I don't have capacity for a full shipment of assault droids."

"Blasters. You can pack a lot of them in a freighter your size."

My fingers twitched. You could outfit a small army with blasters given my cargo space. "Who's side are you arming?"

The Rodian picked up a chip and made an elaborate show of peering intently at it.

I hate it when customers act like they're better than me. "Look," I groused, "I want to know if this job will bring the Republic down on my head. Jedi give me hives."

He pressed the chip onto the table, holding it in place. "My client has interests he wants protected from both sides, and this shipment will help his people do that."

"If that's all there is, fine with me." I shrugged. The Rodian's client must have a massive operation planetside if they're willing to pay that much. "What's the time frame?"

"My people can have the cargo delivered to your docking bay within the hour. As for delivery, my client expects the weapons delivered to Ord Mantell in a couple of weeks."

"What's the situation at the spaceports on Ord Mantell?"

"You're not going to land there. My client has a landing pad fairly close to Fort Garnik, but it isn't covered by spaceport security. The other spaceports aren't safe at this time."

So much the better. Smuggling spice was bad enough, but blasters were the Glitterstim of a war zone, and buying off spaceport customs would have been a real problem. Unless there was something I was missing, there was a huge upside and not that much risk for me.

I nodded and stood. "You've got yourself a pilot."

The Rodian looked at my outstretched hand and shook it after a long moment. "Don't make me regret this decision, Captain," he said. "My client doesn't like smugglers who don't deliver."

"They never do. But hey, you're dealing with me. My record speaks for itself."

"Just make sure you deliver the shipment to Ord Mantell on time. There will be a contact at the landing pad who will make sure your delivery is logged. Name's Skavak."

"Skavak. Got it."

I left the cantina with a bounce in my step. I may have lost big at sabacc, but I landed a deal that should be a cinch. Things were looking up.