Archive for the PC Category

Extra Life Gaming Marathon

Posted in Gaming, Gaming News, MMO, MMORPG, PC with tags , , , , , , , , , on 07/21/2011 by Jeremy (Jmo)

Hello there RiftWatchers fans!

I would like to let you all know that we here at RiftWatchers will be participating in the Extra Life Gaming Marathon this year. What it is is 24 Hours Straight of playing Video Games in order to raise money for local Children’s Hospitals all throughout the US. Most of us here have participated in the past in one form or another, but this year we are all coming together under Team Vagary.TV, which is our parent website.

I personally have set up a page with a goal of raising $500. While this seems like a fairly high goal, I have no doubt in my mind that the awesome community that we have surround the RW site, can help break that goal. Nothing would make me more happy than to have to actually RAISE the goal amount, because of everyone’s generosity to give to a great cause.

Many of us know someone, or maybe even have a family member, who was a very sick child. Whether it be something as serious as Cancer, Infantile Glaucoma (In the case of one of my best friend’s son, and the reason that I’m so passionate about the issue), or even a bad bout of the flu, Children’s Hospitals throughout our country usually have to help foot the bill, as care can get extremely expensive. The money raised in this charity drive goes to help all of those kids get the treatment that they need, without having to worry about running the parents, or the hospital itself, into financial ruin.

If you’re willing, please donate whatever you wish at the link below. The suggested amount is $24 ($1 per hour), but you can give more or less. Any amount you can spare is greatly appreciated, and goes to an amazing cause. And if you care to know, all donations are 100% Tax Deductable.

Go Here to donate or even get involved yourself. 

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and thank you in advance for your help and financial support.

Jeremy

P.S. If you do decide to get involved yourself, feel free to join us on Team Vagary if you don’t have a team of your own to go to.

The Skill Cap Issue

Posted in Gaming News, MMORPG, PC, Star Trek Online with tags , , , , on 01/26/2010 by Jeremy (Jmo)

Cryptic has done it now. They have churned the cesspit and the trolls have risen! Enter the 500+ page post of whining (at your own risk of course).

Long story short, people are mad (read PISSED OFF) that Cryptic has a Cap on the Skill Points you can earn in Star Trek Online. Now, unless you’ve ONLY played EVE Online, this shouldn’t be anything new. But by the responses on the forums and on many blogs, you would think that Star Trek Online is the ONLY game to have a skill cap. it won’t be the last. In fact, there are some very livid bloggers who keep making the comparison over and over again. A lot of these people are personal friends of mine, but I still disagree with the comparison. STO is not EVE.

Now, before I get into that, one of the big arguments people are trying to make is that Cryptic is doing this solely to be money mongers, and to sell Respecs through the Cryptic Store. A Dev posted already (sorry, can’t find the link now) about how it’s not to sell Respecs at all. Respecs will be available in-game for in-game currency. So, that argument is shot down.

As for it being like EVE-Online, it’s nothing like EVE. I really think that since Star Trek is space, everyone is trying to compare it with EVE, and that should not be the case. This is not the first time I’ve heard the EVE argument come up, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. In EVE, there are literally thousands of skills that take 250k+ skill points to completely master, where the final tier can take anywhere from a week to several months to actually complete training on. STO isn’t like this. You earn skill points while you level/do missions/kill things, and you spend these to learn your skills. No person is meant to be a master of every category. In EVE you can, but in almost all other MMOs on the market, you cannot.

Players are meant to specialize in one area, while having secondary and tertiary skills that they are “OK” at. There would be no need for strategies and finding certain players if everyone could do everything. In fact, I think the best example with the way the STO skill system works would be Fallen Earth. You get AP while you level and do quests, and you spend that AP to specialize your character in a certain way. There is an AP cap and you cannot master everything. Everyone is meant to have their own niche.

And just when it thought there was a chance I might be wrong (hell, 500+ pages of people telling me I am was sure to get to me, especially since I take official forums so personal! /sarcasm off) StormShade, the Cryptic Community Rep, posted a response backing up my theories.

My other argument for this cap is one of game balance. Unlike EVE, all other games try to maintain some sort of class balance, especially in PvP. While STO doesn’t have “Classes” per se, they have character and ship types. There would be no point to having this, or having one main area of focus, if there was no cap on Skill Points. If everyone could master everything, why would you have to choose a Tank, DPS, or Healer? I for one have always spoken out against the “Holy Trinity” of classes, and wish there was a better way around it (see Fallen Earth), Cryptic isn’t going in a “New” direction with STO. It’s the same old gameplay, and that’s how they, and the majority of people enjoying the game see it.

Let me be straight forward in saying that my only qualm with this decision on the cap is that it comes towards the end of Open Beta, and not sooner. Should it have been done months ago? Probably. But with everything else Cryptic was focusing on, I’m sure it only recently became and issue, after they opened up End Game for testing and saw the effect it was already having on the game.

And for the love of God, do NOT even begin to categorize this as an NGE type event. NO (read Notta, Zilch, Zippo) major gameplay was changed by this at all. All it did was put everyone on equal ground. The game still plays exactly as it did before the cap was put on, it just means people have to think when they spend their points, with repsecs easily available if any mistakes are made, which is exactly how it should be (you hear me Icarus?).

With all that said, this kind of goes back to Cindy’s post on MMOVoices last week. Who’s fault is it? It’s the players (or non-players as it is), who are trying to find something to blame on Cryptic for them not enjoying the game. Listen up folks, if you don’t like the game, you don’t like the game. There were no gameplay changes at all, and harping on the Devs for putting something as simple as a Skill Cap in the game is only causing them undue stress where it is not needed. Take a look in the mirror, and take a cold shower to cool off. It’s not the Devs fault you don’t like the game, it’s your own for buying into the hype and not getting what you expected.

(Sorry for the lack of writing lately, I will try to remember to share all of my writing from MMOVoices.ning.com to here as well. Bad Jmo! /slaps hand.)

The Raid Leader’s Manifesto

Posted in DDO, Everquest, Gaming, Guides, MMO, MMORPG, PC, SWG, SWTOR, WAR, WoW with tags , , , , , on 07/10/2009 by Jeremy (Jmo)

Those who read my blog and know me in game (whether it be WoW, EQ, SWG, or any other world I’ve stepped into), know that I’ve spent much time as a raid leader. And if you didn’t know, you do now! If you know anything about raiding in MMOs, you know it’s hard work, but if you think that just being at the raid is hard, try leading it! I garuntee your stress level would be through the roof. Anything that goes wrong is pinned on the raid leader, regardless of actual fault. For some, being the leader of 25 (72+ when I was leading in EQ) is not an easy task, to others it’s a breeze. It can be game making, or game breaking. In the end it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.

Clockwork Gamer had this awesome post yesterday about what it means to be a raid leader, and I thought I would share (full article at the link).

The Raid Leader’s Manifesto

I am a raid leader.

Time is my enemy. I recognize that the most important number on any raid is not the mitigation of my tank, the health of my target, or the damage of my raid force – it is time I have left on this raid.

Anything or anyone that interferes with the limited time I have before my raid breaks up is aiding my enemy. Raiders who show up unprepared, raiders who have not read the strategies I’ve written, raiders who do not listen while plans are discussed, raiders who get into conversations during fights, raiders who did not work on their character since the last raid – these are all collaborators I must halt or overcome in order to perform my duties within the time my raid force has alloted me.

As a raid leader, I am impatient. By definition, patience is a virtue that requires time. Time is my enemy. I grow frustrated when the raid is taking too much time. I do not care about dying…I care about dying slowly. I do not care about wipes…I care about recoveries which take too long. I do not care about careful pulls…I care about pulls which hold us up. If I must repeat myself, I am wearied. If I must wait for a recovery, I become irked. If I our raid wipes frequently due to the same mistakes, I grow upset.

When we run out of time, the raid is done. If I have lead my raid well, they will have accomplished something new, performed better, or moved faster than they have in the past. They win when they gain new loot, see new enemies, or learn something different. Any or all of these things are referred to as progression. When my raiders do not progress, I have lost the raid. In order to avoid losing, they must progress…and they must do so within our time constraints.

Whenever I am online, I am either raiding or preparing for a raid.  When I am online between raids, I talk about raiding. I discuss raiding. I ask questions about raiding. I try to get my raiders thinking about raiding. I want my raiders to understand that success in a raid does not start in a raid zone.

Groups are the way to success. Before I ever step foot into a raid dungeon, I know that our raid force’s success has already been largely determined. I realize that the best way to prepare for raids is to prepare raiders and the best way to prepare raiders for raiding lies in groups. I know that we bond in groups. We gear up in groups. We prepare for raids in groups.

Mine is a thankless job. I accept this. I accept that if I am polite and the raid fails, I will be berated. I accept that if I am kind and the raid is slow, I will be judged. I accept that even if the raid is a success, so long as I am not polite, I will be criticized. I accept that when I do well, I will rarely hear it. I accept that when the raid fails, it is my fault.

If I believe I am acting firm, I am being rude. If I ask someone to leave the raid, I am a jerk. If I call out someone on their performance, I am elitist. If I reserve any loot for a critical raid class, I have favorites. If I remain quiet, I am weak. If I chat, I am distracting. No matter what I do, I will never please all of my raid force. No matter what I do, I will always be compared to other raid leaders who do things better than I.

It is irrelevant that the very people who tell me what I am doing wrong as a raid leader are rarely people who have ever been a raid leader. It is irrelevant that the reason a raid failed is due to one person making the same mistakes over and over. It is irrelevant that the target was just too hard for the raid force we brought. Any time we fail the raid and any time I am criticized, the fault is mine.

I take failure personally. Each time we fail, there is something that I could have done differently. I could have explained the strategy differently. I could have benched a different raider. I could have chosen a different target. There is a never a raid which fails which is not my fault. That is the responsibility which is mine as raid leader.

There are no second chances on raids for the leaders. Each raid is a trial. Each raid is a judgement. Each raid is a review. If I perform well, raiders will continue to follow me. If I perform badly, they will stop attending my raids or even seek a new raid force. This is the reality I live with. This is the the only thanks I will ever truly know – that if I do my job well enough, I will be allowed to continue to do my job again in the future.

I am a raid leader.

110% accurate, so you followers out there, remember this the next time something goes wrong on a raid. Don’t be too hard on the guy organizing it all.

What a Great Idea!

Posted in Everquest, Gaming, Gaming News, MMO, MMORPG, PC, Retail, WoW with tags , , , , , , , , on 01/17/2009 by Jeremy (Jmo)

Even though my current “main game” of sorts is World of Warcraft (again), I’ve always been a Sony fanboy. Whether it be their consoles or their MMOs, I’ve always at least given them a shot. Most of the time, I have not been let down.

Earlier today there was an announcement put out about a new way to get your hands on SOEs MMOs. Steam. Yep, you heard (read) me write! Sony’s main MMOs are now available for download on Steam. Why do I care? Steam reaches over 15 million people. These 15 million people now all have a ton of MMOs more readily available to them, including Everquest. If it wasn’t for EQ, I wouldn’t even have this blog. It’s what brought me into the world of MMOs, and for that, I will be forever greatful.

So my props and kudos to SOE, for taking a step in the right direction, where marketing and distribution are concerned. Wish them the best of luck in this endeavor, and truly hope that this will actually cause a spike in subscription numbers for EQ, EQII, Vanguard, and any others that are now on Steam.

As a side note: For those that don’t know, I spend a lot of time as an Admin on NotAddicted.com and have recently started hosting the site’s PodCast. Be sure to check out Not-A-Cast, and NotAddicted, when you get a chance. I keep it fairly short…for now. Also, I’m scheduled to be on an upcoming No Prisoners, No Mercy Podcast as well. Stay tuned!

Blizzard 2, MDY 0

Posted in Gaming, Legal, MMORPG, PC, WoW with tags , , , on 10/02/2008 by Jeremy (Jmo)

In the second big story to break in the Blizzard vs. MDY lawsuit, MDY is now expected to pay $6 million in damages. If you don’t know about the lawsuit, the basic rundown is as follows: MDY Industries created WoW Glider (now MMOGlider). Blizzard is claiming that Glider is an infringment on their Copyright of WoW, because the Glider makes a copy of WoW in your systems RAM as one way to circumvent Warden.

The major issue with this case is that it is the first of its kind. No other lawsuit of this type, and especially on this big of a scale, has ever made it to court, let alone with what appears to be a complete knockout on the part of the Plaintiff. The thing that disturbs me the most about this lawsuit is the potential can of worms that Blizzard is opening up. Great, they don’t like botters in their game, but because of that, they are now basically paying to have courts create laws against it.

I cannot see this lawsuit ending well. The worst part is, this is only going to hurt the consumers in the end. As it stands right now, you are allowed to make copies of your own games. I don’t understand how Blizzard’s argument even holds up due to this. I remember writing a few papers about the DMCA in college, and all articles I found about it stated how you could own copies of your own music, movies, and software. It makes no sense that copying a program into the RAM of your computer actually breaks this law. There’s no illegal distribution involved. And now, we have to worry even more about our country “policing” the internet.

On Blizzard’s behalf, you know they need the money…

If you’d like to read up more about the first part of the lawsuit, check out this link.

If you’d like to read the actual legal documents, check out this link (PDF).

Feel free to post your comments and views on the subject below.

Computer Issues

Posted in PC, Tech with tags , on 09/18/2008 by Jeremy (Jmo)

So, I was hoping to really start blogging soon, as I feel it could be something I really enjoy, but my first post isn’t going to be about Games at all, but about the furstrations I’m having with my PC at the moment. Here’s my problem:

When I go to turn on my computer, 90% of the time it restarts right as it gets to the Windows XP login screen. So far, I haven’t entirely been able to figure out why. Then tonight, I got fed up and decided to get online on my PS3 instead. Well, it couldn’t find a connection to my wireless router. I decided maybe I’d try and restart the router, so I did. On a hunch, I also decided that since the router was restarting (and I had been without internet all night apparently because it had bugged up) that I would try to turn on my computer again. Low and behold, it worked.

So, I’m wondering if anyone out there knows if this could be the issue with my computer restarting. I have a wireless card installed and that’s how I access the internet. Until I went back to using my wireless instead of a wired connection (updated a bad Firmware version on my wireless router and got my PS3, so I wanted to go wireless again) I never had any issues. Now, I’m guessing that if there’s no connection, the computer won’t turn on, and if there is, it will. Anyone else experienced this before and know how to fix it? Any help would be appreciated.

~Jmo