Category Archives: Gaming

Bioshocked and other things

I’m going to ramble on a bit here, about my previous post, Bioshock Infinite (spoilers) and the League of Legends LCS.

Despite my earlier sense of elation at enjoying Planetside 2, I did get bored of it again, as the tragic inevitability of meat-grinder wars set in. It became clear that certain key points on the map gradually turned into a contest to see which team had the most players that got annoyed with respawning repeatedly and went to do something else first.
I got bored of putting bits of bling on my Sunderer and I even got bored of hanging from beneath a Liberator gunship aboard a 105mm cannon that looked disturbingly like a big angry sky-cock and balls, spitting ‘ordnance’ at the plebs below.

It began to remind me of the bits of Battlefield 2142 that I didn’t like, and I didn’t get the same sense of personal achievement from PS2 that I got from BF2142 when something went my way. Additionally, Battlefield 2142 had that nice bit at the end where it says YOU WON AND GOT A MILLION PINS FOR SHOOTING PEOPLE IN THE FACE. I liked that bit, the pointless pat on the back, the virtual fist-bump with a list of stats that lets you measure your clicking against the clicking of others.

What did happen was that I started playing League of Legends, a game that is both loved and hated the world over for various reasons. I realise at one point I felt an irrational grudge towards League of Legends because, as someone that had gotten very much into Starcraft 2, it was stealing all the eSports thunder. That grudge has obviously passed, and now I’m just a rubbish 29 year old Silver II player without the free time to excel at the game I play most – and I’m ok with that, life comes first.

As a result I’ve also taken to watching LCS, playing the Fantasy LCS league and neglecting just about all other games, though I do occasionally make an exception.

One such exception was Bioshock Infinite.

Bioshock Infinite was the kind of game I went into without any particular enthusiasm, I wanted a single player game to play and it was well hyped – I’d previously fooled around in Dishonored and Arkham City and not felt a strong compulsion to finish either, and I still frown every time I open Skyrim and realise how far I have to travel to… do… anything. So I went in with my usual sense of indifference, something that has only been broken by a handful of games.

I sat through the first scenes and tried to remain open to what they were setting up, popped up into Columbia and was mostly just surprised by how bright everything was.

There was a point early in the game when I had to remind myself that yes, this is all visually impressive stuff, and Irrational Games had created a beautiful world. The problem was that I wasn’t buying in, even when the rather sudden and surprising ultra-violence began. I was just running around shooting people in the face, or clubbing them to death and a weird skyrail thing and I didn’t really understand what the big deal was.

So I didn’t play for a few days, until one evening I was without suitable distraction and resumed. That was when I met Elizabeth. This was the pivotal point where Bioshock Infinite turned from another shooter into a stunning, story-driven rollercoaster ride. She had almost Disney-like qualities, a proverbial princess trapped in a tower, with big eyes and book-throwing feistiness.

BioshockInfiniteBook

I also met Songbird, who had far less Disney-like qualities, reminding me firmly that I was playing a Bioshock game, as the big metal bastard seemed to be trying quite hard to cleave me in half.

wallpaper-2733310

The scenes that followed slowly built an upsie-downsie relationship between my protagonist and the space-time tearing Elizabeth, a sweet, sheltered girl with a handy knack for pilfering from parallel timelines and helpfully throwing ammo at me. I also got some interesting insights into the background of Booker DeWitt, my character.

What followed was one of the best gaming experiences I’ve ever had, I did buy in, entirely and completely – and I believed in the connection between the characters. I rode the rollercoaster with an open mind and allowed it to take effect in a way a game rarely does. The development of Elizabeth on one end of the spectrum alongside the discovery of Booker’s past on the other, creating two intrinsically linked storylines working towards one another.

The moment Songbird lifted Elizabeth away and left me, Booker, flat on my back I felt a genuine desire to go shoot the ferrous motherfucker in the beakface, I actually felt antagonised by its flappy-bird bullshit.

wallpaper-2731407

When the game ended I stared at the credits for a while and quietly reflected, before getting myself a strong drink to celebrate a game I had genuinely enjoyed.

I’m not going to be the guy that dissects the ending, combing through the storyline looking for inconsistency or plotholes, because Bioshock Infinite ended for me when the credits rolled, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience that I’d rather not infringe upon for the sake of pedantry.

wallpaper-2728108

And that’s that.

Moving on, I’m currently looking forward to an evening of LCS – I’ve been a loyal but frequently disappointed EG supporter for quite some time, and EG have two games to play tonight, and must win both to reach playoffs. As they’re currently holding the league up from the bottom it seems unlikely they’ll manage it, but they’re already 2-0 for the week including a carefully constructed victory vs second place Cloud 9. They still have to get past first place LMQ however, a game that will be an absolute gauntlet.

If EG do succeed however, it’ll be a series of wins that will secure them not only a playoff position, but also prove that they’re a serious contender in NA despite spending the majority of their season in dead last, and I can’t help but #believe.

Electric Cats and complaints and complaints about electric cats.

I write this with hope in my heart that all none of you that care whether I post on here regularly will be willing to forgive my recent inability to provide you with my ever enlightening views on the universe at large.

I realise this negligence has become a trend of sorts and I don’t provide you with the loving attention that you almost definitely don’t deserve anyway, but could if I were dedicated enough, deliver.

With this in mind I’m going to almost certainly repeat the process, but I’m sure you expected that as an outcome and as such have prepared yourselves for my inevitable failure to express my incredibly important and widely respected opinion with any sort of frequency.

A large factor in my absence has been full time work. Anyone who knows me, or has been sneaking glances at this blog in the past will know that when I posted more frequently on here I was unemployed, and had been for some time. As such, adjusting to both working and posting on a blog isn’t something I’ve pulled off yet.

I could be extremely prolific if I wanted to, but I’m sure if I were not forgetting to post on this blog I would have to be routinely forgetting something else instead, such as providing my cat with food and litter. This would undoubtably piss him off quite a lot, and I’d not at all be surprised if he spent what little food remained within his furry, static charged body to shit in one or both of my shoes.

Seen as I’ve gone and mentioned it now, my cat was until recently so consistently charged with static electricity that providing him with any kind of attention was usually a fairly painful business, as every attempt at putting a hand on him resulted in a brief and after some time frustrating static shock. Fortunately the new carpet seems to have solved the problem and I am now welcomed home from work by a cuddly cat rather than a hairy tesla coil.

Snow
He's quite a bit bigger now, so I can use the static he generates to power my PC.

Moving on…

Now that I’m working and my debt to the world is decreasing gradually I find myself starting to want for things that aren’t entirely out of reach anymore.

A couple of examples would be a new keyboard & mouse, or a new mobile phone.

Steelseries Xai
Steelseries Xai

The mouse question has become fairly black and white for me, the only question is how cheap can I get a Steelseries Xai for? Not very cheap, most sources say. The bottom line here is that I don’t want another Razer mouse. I’m finished with Razer as a brand – their products are too expensive for items that seem to possess a build quality comparable to a chair constructed entirely of the little shavings that come off a rubber when you vigorously remove pencil from paper.

So with the mouse decided on and me simply waiting until I feel flush enough to spend, I move on to the next one; the keyboard.

This one has me baffled if I’m entirely honest. The last time I bought a keyboard it seemed easy, but this time around it seems as though to get a backlit keyboard you have to either buy something genuinely disappointing or spend over £100.

The biggest shock to me was the Razer Blackwidow. Yes I looked at it, no I won’t buy it, and not just because of the reasons mentioned above with regards to my Razer prejudice. The Blackwidow is an £80 keyboard.

If I were crazy enough to spend £80 on a keyboard (and by crazy enough I mean if I didn’t have bills to pay instead) then there are a few expectations I’d have going forward with such an exchange. One such expectation is that it be superior to my Saitek Eclipse II, which I purchased several years ago. My Eclipse II has three colours of backlighting complete with a nifty dimmer switch that is of absolutely no use to me but is nice anyway, and the only media keys it comes with are the ones I actually want; the audio media keys so I can control my playlist without tabbing out of whatever game I happen to be in.

I’ve developed a deep and sincere appreciation for these keys, as they almost become part of my macro when I’m playing Starcraft 2 – 3 s d 3 s v 1 click click 3 s d nonotthatsongskiptrack 3 s d etc etc. and I’ve also learned to appreciate the backlighting. Not because I need light to see where my keys are in the dark, as I’m not a dribbling computer mong. I know where my sodding keys are already, I just like the way my rig looks with blue LEDs in the tower, the mouse and the keyboard.

Now, I’ve just mentioned the Steelseries Xai which as far as I’m aware does not have blue LEDs, which immediately seems to contradict where I’m headed with this, but hear me out.

Razer Blackwidow Expert: I AM DISAPOINT

The Razer Blackwidow Expert edition has no backlighting, which in turn means no nifty dimmer swtich and also has none of the audio control keys I’ve become accustomed to. Now before someone calls out ‘The Ultimate version has backlighting dick head’ in an attempt to derail my far from finished criticism, the Ultimate edition of the keyboard does indeed have ‘5 levels of backlighting’. It also costs £55 more.

In addition to the backlighting the Ultimate has a couple of built in USB ports and audio jacks for your headphones & mic.

Yes that’s the only difference.

Srsly?

Now I understand that these are mechanical keyboards with 50g actuation force flux coils and graviton drives with bits of gold to make everything go inconceivably fast, so fast that I’m just making things up, and I realise that these things are by default expensive, but come the fuck on if an £80 keyboard doesn’t deserve backlighting and intuitive media keys instead of those fucking god awful macro keys that brands keep sticking on the side of keyboards ever since someone at Logitech got high on some kind of hallucigen and designed the G15.

I’m just not willing to pay an additional £55 on top of an already extremely high pricetag for a keyboard just so some cretin gets the go ahead to stick some LEDs in it along with a few handy sockets. Yes, I know the keys will make many a satisfying clunk when pressured under the force of zerg macro; even my zerg macro – which is terrible, but Razer are taking the piss a bit now.

On the up side, it has a braided cable. GG Razer you figured it out. Now put those in all your mice and give me five free ones and we’ll call it square.

All in all this further reinforces my new policy in regards to Razer. I feel as though I should start my own company just so that I can have a company policy page on my company website that states in no uncertain terms that Razer can fuck right off.

Continuing to rant about Razer won’t help me find a keyboard unfortunately, and I find the Logitech G15 and its ilk to be filthy horrible creations designed entirely to fuck with my sense of where the keys are supposed to be. I like the keys where they are, and there’s more than enough of them on a standard keyboard thankyouverymuch.

My Saitek Eclipse II has been lovely and I’d keep it but I want to change it for something fresh and new, partially because I’m tired of using a keyboard that contains more crumbs than a pack of maryland cookies.

Contains Crumbs

Contains More Crumbs

Unfortunately thus far I’ve been unsuccessful in finding a keyboard that meets my requirements, all I want is a keyboard that is backlit, has keys I can tell I’ve actually pressed and looks nice. Apparently that’s asking for a tremendous amount if I don’t want to go bankrupt in the process.

(Audio control keys would be nice too).

More soon, probably complaining about mobile phone contracts.

Or Starcraft 2 Protoss Colossi.

One Month Later…

Well, it’s been just over a month since my last post, but close enough right? I’ve been fairly occupied with work, Starcraft II, blowing up some WTs in Eve-Online and driving around things in a circular fashion in World of Tanks.

I’ll start where the last paragraph ended I suppose, seen as my previous post was focused in its entirety on World of Tanks. I progressed to the T-44, have acquired a Jagdpanther for ‘lols’ and am currently arsing around in a T-28 on a bit of a quest to get in to some form of IS series heavy tank.

SC2 I’m going to skip over as a subject, because ultimately I’m not particularly good at it.

The compulsory Eve update section.

Eve-Online however, oh my… In an explosion of boredom induced frustration I spontaneously declared war on the first Alliance that earned my ire while spamming ‘Show Info’ on random people in Airkio.
The winner was ‘House of Gaming’, and they earned the war due to a horrific inability to spell, highlighted by a pretty depressing alliance description.

The war lasted a single week only, despite some smack from a few of their members they weren’t up to much, and when their executor returned (he was away from the game apparently) he turned up in our public channel and expressed his desire to surrender.

Our demands were simple, of course, he seemed like a nice enough guy and I felt no need to be particularly unreasonable – so we requested they amend the errors in their alliance description and forward apologies to a member of ours that they had talked a bit of smack to.

With that over with, we’re currently shooting at an alliance called ‘United European Star-Force’, who I felt deserved it simply for having such a stupid fucking name.

Despite allegedly having some PVP focus we’ve seen nothing of them since our very first engagement – in which we jumped in to their positioned force of 14 ships with our 6 fast-movers, and promptly trashed the better part of their fleet. 10 downed without loss, despite three ECM Scorpions being positioned at sniper range.

Even though we’d almost certainly humiliated them beyond expectation, they were quite amicable about the entire ordeal and assured us they weren’t finished there.

Well, all I’ve seen since was two corporations leave the alliance, and a single Mining Barge that wasn’t quite bright enough to depart an asteroid belt before I came out of warp with a whoosh and exploded him with a bang.

The Non-Eve bits

Relevant to my interests is Highschool of the Dead – an anime devoted to schoolgirls with massive tits fighting zombies in an extremely over the top manner. I have an inbuilt appreciation for stuff like this, even though it’s quite clear the story will be a load of absolute bollocks and it’s about as sensible as North Korea.

Highschool of the Dead bullet dodging
This is what the Matrix would have looked like had Neo been a Japanese schoolgirl with massive breasts.

Additionally, since my previous post, I finished both seasons of Life on Mars, and continued on to watch all three seasons of Ashes to Ashes – they’re an excellent watch, particularly for Phillip Glenister as Gene Hunt, who could well be described as ‘fucking awesome’.

Gene Hunt
"This investigation is moving at the speed of a spastic in a magnet factory"

Additionally, I revisited Dead Set, as I didn’t watch the entire thing when it was airing – great three part zombie piece set on big brother, recommended for a nice, quiet, zombie-night-in.

WoT stands for World of Tanks and wall of text.

So, with our Eve corporation not actually playing Eve (unless targets are presented on a platter, a gang is already formed and they are cordially invited to attend by persons leading said gang, via Ventrilo) I’ve been mostly playing the World of Tanks beta, which while occasionally infuriating to a degree I cannot explain unless you ask me within three seconds of my T-34-85’s ammo rack exploding, is actually a bit of a lark.

I imagine it’s a bit less exciting for people who play tank destroyers, and sit in bushes like Wiley-fucking-Coyote waiting for an unsuspecting Roadrunner to happen across their crosshairs, but for me and my medium tank it’s either death, glory, death and glory, or death followed by a string of unrepeatable obscenities. I like it best when it’s just glory.

It’s a game that doesn’t really fit under the MMO title but seems to have fallen in to the trap of masquerading as one, much like so many games these days that seem to want to ‘ride the wave’. MMOs have such a high turnover rate these days that there are few with consistent player bases, and most of the ones that do have player numbers that are dwarfed by the number they launched with. The examples I’d use are Warhammer Online and Aion, simply because I played them myself and later moved on. In fact, Eve is the only MMO that I maintain a consistent ‘relationship’ with, Eve seems to have become the online gaming equivalent of a wife, comparative to other MMOs which would surely qualify as nothing but mistresses or passing fancies, who are not cut out for the long run.

Nonetheless, World of Tanks masquerades, even though the actual game system is much more like an FPS – even the more “massively” orientated attributes are easily matched by FPS games these days, as the progression doesn’t go much deeper than play matches in tanks > gain experience & cash > unlock and buy new tanks. Not entirely different from unlocking new weapons in say, Battlefield Bad Company 2, surely?

Really the only thing that sets it apart from the usual FPS system is the restrictive reliance on credits, you have to pay for ammo and tank repairs after a battle, which can be more expensive than the coin you make from winning it if you’re storming around (crawling around more like) the battlefield in a Tiger or larger. There’s a lot of armour to superglue back on to a Tiger tank after it’s taken a good old fashioned twatting, so you get bills big enough to push you in to using lighter tanks as money makers so that you can afford to use your larger ones.

All of this said, it’s a good laugh, and once there’s a team system in place that’ll allow grouping with friends (we currently count down from three on Ventrilo and all hit “Battle” at the same time, then hope to god we got in to the same match) the experience will only improve. I’m not convinced of the longevity of the game, but perhaps the lack of a subscription will compensate for that. No sub means you can pick up and play when it suits you, and the optional micro-transactions don’t seem too game breaking.

Anyway, I would talk about anime as usual but I’ve not really watched any. Since I finished Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood I’ve watched maybe 2 episodes of Highschool of the Dead, and that’s about it.

What I have been watching after some demands on the part of a friend, is Life on Mars, which has been pretty awesome so far. I’m currently just over half way through the second season and I’ve no doubt that I’ll have finished it and be hitting up Ashes to Ashes some time this week.

Now that I’ve provided something resembling an update, even if mostly a muddled explanation of my opinion of World of Tanks, I’m going to get on with ordering myself a takeaway, as it is the weekend, I’m hungry and I can’t blog and operate Just-Eat at the same time without fucking one up entirely.

Final note before I sign off is this: If you have a bizarrely named domain such as, I don’t know, ClaymoreDog.com, and you’re asked by work colleagues what the name is about, don’t try to explain, it’s not possible to do it any kind of sensible way.

Toad in the hole

No, this post doesn’t have anything to do with food, at least not with Toad in the Hole, Toad in the hole is the name of our True Sansha Control Tower in the w-space system we have affectionately come to know as simply “Toad”. In case you’re reading this and have no idea what I just said, you may want to skip downwards as I’m going to ramble about Eve-Online a bit.

We moved into Toad on the merit that it was the first unoccupied Class 4 w-space system that I could find, and over the last couple of weeks it has treated us to some fun things, such as watching Yswr’s Hurricane attempt to align under fire from four Sleeper battleships with no RR in a system that reduces ship agility, while webbed. It exploded of course, and we smirked and continued, as w-space is lucrative enough that losing a Hurricane is of course absolutely nothing to be concerned about.

This, and the small fool around in Faction Warfare that preceded it, is part of our re-entry to Eve. Once coffers are full and we’re good and ready Omerta Syndicate will see a reactivation of sorts, a return to active service.

It’s been a while, and I for one am still rusty – you play a game for long enough consistently and you develop an extra instinct of sorts, you respond appropriately to your surroundings without hesitation and you know where everything in your UI is. Take a year out and you’ll find yourself a bit clumsier than you remember.

It didn’t stop me from flattening a Navy Slicer with my Claw recently, but it did mean afterwards I lost a 1v1 with a Hookbill, something I could have avoided if my approach had been measured better, leaving me just a couple of km closer after the mutual scrambling occurred. As it was I was too far in to fall off range and the dip in DPS meant I couldn’t quite kill him quick enough. It’s all just practice, really, and I do miss piloting interceptors so I’m sure I’ll get plenty once we’re back in populated space.

Speaking of PVP, Alliance Tournament 8 has been airing on EveTV over the weekend, much to the delight of, well, the entire corp, who have been on Ventrilo cheering along with the matches like it’s the Eve World Cup. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many Machariels blow up in groups of three, or so many Drakes fielded by idiots. The Drake is a hugely useful and versatile ship, it pains me to see these cretins just slap HML and Extenders on it, press f-keys and seemingly go AFK for a shit while the fight plays itself out. Lrn2HAM.

Final note on the subject of Eve is that Planetary Interaction has finally been released, command centres included, and some very elaborate planning and charting has followed on our part. PI is, to understate greatly, overwhelmingly fiddly. There are so many ways to do it badly that the mind simply boggles as to how many planets will be squandered under the control of moron armies of aspiring tyrants who will surely just keep pressing buttons until something starts moving, spinning or twirling, and then consider themselves satisfied with their shiny “Empire”. God knows Eve isn’t without its population of slightly more remedial users, and in a game with such a huge capacity for failure anything can happen.

If you wanted to skip the Eve speak then you’re safe to continue from here.

So I said earlier that this thread wasn’t about food, and I was telling the truth, mostly, but there’s one thing I feel is noteworthy, and that is Deks KFC chicken conspiracy theory. He assures me that KFC chickens are in fact not grown in the traditional manner of egg > chicken > bargain bucket, but are actually genetically modified test tube chickens that grow only a breast.

Deks, to you I say this, if only a breast is grown, then where the fuck do they keep getting the wings and legs from? I’m sure the answer will be that those are also part of the genetic growth plan, but somehow I’m struggling with the idea.

Anyway, the following is entirely to distract Deks from questing towards me with intent to clarify, and instead send him into a state of confusion. If you don’t understand, simply scroll on and normal blogging will resume.

Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line Maginot Line

While Deks hypnotizes himself in to a fit of rage reading that a few times we will continue.

My next subject is fucking huge holes in the ground. Specifically this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nni68iqI7WA

This is something that there is, I’m quite sure, a perfectly logical scientific explanation for. But still, it’s pretty ominous, right? A giant hole opens up and swallows a three story building. Just one building. Who lived there? He must have pissed off someone important, like, uh, Lucifer. I don’t know if the idea of disappearing 200ft down a hole that wasn’t there five minutes ago scares the shit out of anyone reading this, but I for one find it just the slightest bit intimidating. And what do they do now? Fill it? Cover it? Charge Americans as much money as possible to come see it as a tourist attraction?

Maybe I’ll look it up later, for now I’m going to crash.

Future Proof

Fucking awesome
Fucking awesome

I was bound to put up a post about this, being best friends with the director and creator of the video, but I’m positive I’d be posting this even if that weren’t the case. What that does mean however is that I saw some of what went in to the creation of it, the utter dedication that was necessary to put this kind of piece of work together, and how despite having seen the inner workings, the development and advancement of ideas and in some way the general evolution of a piece of media it still left a huge impact on me after I watched it, entirely as a viewer, in my chair, in my room and on my screen.

If you’re an Eve player and you’ve not already seen it, shame on you. I’d say more but I think the video speaks for itself.

Here’s the link to the forum thread, all download mirrors and a YouTube link are contained within.

If my word isn’t enough for you to watch if you haven’t already, read the responses on the thread linked and here’s a little web coverage to help convince you:

Massively.com
Eve-Online-Fan.co.uk

Worst MMO event ever?

A thousand words.
A thousand words.

For St Patrick’s day NCSoft held an event.

The player populace of Aion have been for the most part crying out for events for quite some time, but this was by no means what they were expecting.

The event revolved around a leprechaun called Fergus McGreedy (apparantly there are leprechauns in the Aion universe suddenly?), and some bullshit about tax collectors and shedding wealth, and losing his glasses, and a bunch of other rubbish circumstances. Anyway, what actually occurred, was that he spammed some stuff in !Shout and then mobs would spawn and be killed for loot.

The problems began before anything even happened really, because on some servers this leprechaun was extremely late to arrive, making me ponder whether NCSoft had one or two people taking care of the entire fucking event? This wouldn’t surprise me, it also wouldn’t surprise me if these people were either not in contact with each other at all, or just immensely irresponsible, because the types of mobs that actually spawned differed from Asmo to Elyos, and even from server to server.

On Telemachus the Elyos had three Zapiel spawns – Zapiel is a world boss that drops, among other things possibly the best spear in the game. The Asmo however, had L10-50 non-elite trash mobs, with some named ones thrown in. Hardly any loot at all, a blue L40 chest piece dropped, not much else.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, some hours later, without any advanced notification at all the GMs had apparantly become aware of the disparity between their mob spawns, and decided to “rectify” the issue by returning to Pandaemonium and spawning some world bosses for the Asmos. Much like I imagine it went on just about every server, a single legion got all the loot, people protested, and the GMs then saw fit to randomly hand out Zapiel items.

I logged back in shortly after this, just in time to find people showing off their Zaps items while this GM continued to spawn a lower level world boss, and then Menotios, which of course, the same legion took the loot for.

So the see-saw of horribly irresponsible GMing has now tilted from Elyos favour to Asmo, with more world bosses being spawned, and endgame items being doled out like welfare.

This wasn’t an event, it was a loot farm for each server’s biggest legions, and some lucky passer-bys. You may wonder if I’d still be complaining if I’d gotten a Zaps spear myself, not as much that’s for sure, but it’d take a whole lot of burying your head in the sand to even pretend this wasn’t an utter joke of an event.

I’d expect better than this from F2P MMOs, nevermind one I actually paid for.

R.U.S.E.

Ahoy faggots (is it hypocritical to refer to the reader as a faggot after using “ahoy” as a greeting? Probably).

Today I’m going to talk about R.U.S.E, Ubisoft’s new RTS that allegedly employs a new and exciting system that is “set to reinvigorate the genre”.

I might seem sceptical already, given my use of the word ‘allegedly’, but having played the RUSE beta online a few times 3v3 I have to say it’s a lot of fun. That doesn’t however mean I believe it’ll be reinvigorating anything, at least not with the RUSE system, which is essentially a number of commander abilities that allow you to misdirect your enemy, spy on their units, hide your own or just go faster in whatever sector of the map you choose to deploy your RUSE card in.

It’s a good system, and as already stated, a fun game, but I do think suggesting it’ll have a large effect on the RTS genre on the whole may be stretching things ever so slightly. The game itself it’s fairly intuitive which makes it easy to pick up and have fun with, which, although I’m comparing apples and oranges, is something it has over the original Supreme Commander – an RTS many will find baffling to play competitively.

The only resources there are to be captured are supply caches, and your entire army is run on just one resource: money. There’s enough unit variety to keep you testing different races but ultimately Ubisoft seem to have done their best to make units largely comparable. By that I mean, the Germans can build Wirblewinds, which if you’ve played Company of Heroes or the lesser known (but much better) Men of War, is a rather unfriendly anti-air vehicle. To mirror this Britain have the Skink and the Russians have the ZSU which basically do the same job.

It’ll be a little longer before I’m aware of the more intricate differences between the races, I’m yet to find out whether the French units can be forced to retreat faster than the other armies, have a prototype white flag, or can build negligible bunkers that can be mostly ignored. I’m also yet to try the Italian army, and discover whether it’s possible to change teams if things are starting to look like they might go badly for me.

What I have established is that Tiger tanks are fairly unpleasant unless you can apply the correct dosage of fighter-bomber, which of course requires that they not be absolutely surrounded by anti-air, which they often are.

The Armour/Infantry/Air/Artillery balance seems quite nice; while it’s possible to spam an ungodly amount of bombers for runs at the enemy HQ and key buildings, it’s also possible to meet those bombers with a nice fleet of fighters and anti-air, which will allow you to practice your best evil villain laugh as they explode or turn back full of bullet holes and flak, only to discover that while they were gone you had some well placed paratroopers slip into their base from the forest behind it and capture their airbase, HQ, and any other useful buildings your elite troops could storm while the player was distracted watching his bombers fall out of the sky.

Oh, sweet justice.

The beta is available on Steam now, I’d say give it a try and see what you think of it. Don’t let the weird looking French blokes that introduce it put you off, I’m sure they’re harmless.