Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Quitting MMO's (Wildstar) for good


I have been playing MMO's since the glory days of Star War Galaxies and I can safely say that the MMO's of today are a shadow of what they started out as. What were great community based games have turned into what are commonly called "theme park" games. Most MMO's today (Star Wars: The Old Republic, WoW, Tera Online, Wildstar, ext) follow this train of thought that for some reason questing to level cap has to be tedious "you have to kill 15 fish/bears/tigers/bacon" quests that are lifeless and lacking in choice. In TOR you sorta had options on how to do some quests but like the most recent Bioware games, the choices are pretty black and white and leave really nothing to the imagination. The new MMO from Carbine Studios is not a bad game, it's just masked in that boring "theme park" nonsense for the first 25hrs of gameplay.

I quit TOR about 3 months ago due to some personal and game related issues. The PvE content while challenging (the newest operations) was very limiting and left almost nothing to do other than level alts after your raids for the week were finished. I decided to take a break from MMO's until Wildstar came out in order to keep a cool and level head for the launch. What I quickly found out however is that much like my frustration with WoW's and Tera's leveling experience, I just could not stick out the questing in Wildstar. To some of you, this may sound like a superficial and stupid complaint. "It's a MMO duh you have to invest +20 hours before the real game starts." What if the "real" game isn't worth the time invested? Who in god's name decided that in order to have fun, you had to invest "x" amount of time? I get that some people like mindless questing for lore purposes; I do not. I had a blast PvPing and doing the first 3 dungeons but I just cannot kill 15 more robots or go fix some motorbikes. No amount of pvp awesomeness and house customizing can keep me grinding in Wildstar.

It really is a shame though because not only was I really looking forward this game, it was going to be the first MMO that I would be playing with some real life friends (they didn't catch onto the TOR train). Wildstar did do something great for me though; it taught me that modern day MMO's are just not for me. I really wish this, GW2, and FFXIV: ARR could of been great and different than all the EVERQUEST clones. I however just cannot put up with the grind anymore. I'm sure I'll hear about all the awesome 40 man raids that I am missing out on but even those are an endless circle of rinse and repeat.

My father once asked me what's the point in playing a game if there is no real tangible reward. My answer was that in some instances a game can yield a memory that you will never forget. I remember playing endless hours of Halo 3 in high school with my two best friends trying to get our ranking higher and higher, killing the Terror from Beyond for a server 2nd kill in TOR, and teaching those Reapers who their daddy was in the Mass Effect games. Those memories will always be in my heart because of not only who I accomplished the task with but also how well the developer crafted that experience. I have no doubt that Carbine Studios will deliver what modern MMO fans want with Wildstar. I have no ill-will towards them, they did not falsely advertise their game to me. I in fact I commend them for being so open and upfront with the community. Their streams and devspeaks helped paint a pretty good picture of what the game was going to be. It's just that I have graduated from your market's over-saturated and dubbed-down genre.

Sorry for the long rambling post. If you made it this far enjoy this video of a little black kid that talks about someone kicking someone else in the penis.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Spring 2014 anime update

It has been a couple weeks since the spring season of anime has started and I already have so many favorites that I look forward to each week. These awesome picks are (in no particular order):

No Game No Life: One word that should sell you this anime in a heartbeat; MADHOUSE. This anime is by far one of the best looking and sounding shows I have seen in some time. The production values appear to be off the chart as every scene is just bristling with light and color. Characters look amazing and feel unique. The character interactions are so hilarious and feel pretty tangible. This is one anime that I feel everyone should give a shot though if you are turned off by fanservice then maybe try to watch it with an open mind.
Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou: This is the feel good, romantic comedy of the season (at least the one I can sit down and actually enjoy). At first I thought the limited cast might be a turn off but instead it has me really investing myself into all the main characters. One thing I noticed is how much the anime reminds me of a manga called Mahoraba which has a very similar plot and setting. Overall the show encompasses slapstick style humor (just like No Game No Life) and a really likeable cast. Give it a show if you want some laughs. 
Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin: Like No Game No Life, this anime is a slapstick style actiony anime but with the main focus being on a treasure hunting theme. Other than the amazing visuals and audio cues, the main strength of this anime has to be the character interactions. The cast really mends well with each other. Again pick this one up if you have the time.
Mekaku City Actors:  Again like with No Game No Life, there is one word to sell you this anime; SHAFT. Looks and feels like all the -monogatari anime but it does have its own feel and flow. The characters are really interesting and look beautiful/handsome. The only downside I have experienced in this anime is the curse of using the first half of the show to painfully open up each character to the main plot. The show is taking FOREVER to introduce each character which for some is ok but there are some characters that I don't particularly care for so much screen time. Overall though if you like SHAFT's way of execution then pick this one up.

Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to: I love this anime so much because I was absolutely in love with the manga. The anime has really good colors and seems to be following the manga to the "T". Only complaint is that I do not care for some of the voice actors the studio chose. Overall though the brilliant comedy about a manga artist and his assistants is here and is awesome.   

Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara: It's pretty generic but the character interactions can be fun to watch. The trap is just way too cute.

Nisekoi: As this anime drags on I am reminded why I started to get bored with the manga; it loses its appeal fairly quickly. It looks and sounds great (SHAFT duh) but the characters do run their course and get a little boring.

Chaika: The Coffin Princess: This anime started out pretty boring but I am glad to say that it is actually getting really interesting. I always liked some of the main cast but now the plot is starting to thicken a little bit. Looking forward to what is to come. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

2014 Anime Spring Season Showdown

Alright my currently watch list is so fu#$ing long right new due to the start of the Fall season. So here is a list and some initial thoughts of what I think of the ones I am holding onto at the moment:

Black Bullet: Looks pretty generic. I'm thinking it's just going to be an average one. Has a loli.

Blade and Soul: Another generic looking action anime with a pinch of fanservice. If it turns out to be an episodic type series (episodes do not connect) then it will be really awful. No loli's yet.

Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou: This looks like it could be interesting. Already love the animation and the female lead is one of those quiet and hard to get to types which are always fun. Grandma is a loli.

Chaika: The Coffin Princess: Kind of generic looking but seems interesting. Animation looks good and the characters connect well. Loli is present.

Date A Live 2: Let's get one thing clear about this POS; I am only going to watch this fully so I can write a follow up review to its first season. I'm sure I'll hate it even more but for an anime that has so much back and sucks so hardcore, there has to be at least one decent review for this POS.

Dragon Ball Kai (2014): We have all already seen the source material so time will tell if I actually keep up with it. I like how they are cutting out all the filler crap but they are starting at the high school arc.....*throws up*

Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka?: Pretty sure this will be dropped since it is all about the loli fanservice. There is however a talking rabbit (not sure it really is a rabbit).

Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san: This one as well will most likely be dropped. Looks like a Sakura Trick wannabe. Loli is present.
Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara: This one has the generic stereotypes but actually looks interesting. Plus it has cute girls everywhere so why not? Loli's present.

Kenzen Robo Daimidaler: Looks like absolute sh#@. Only holding on to see groping boobies and to write a horrid review of it. Loli present.

Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to: I have been looking forward to this for like forever. The manga was so awesome and to finally see it in anime form will be a real treat.

Mekaku City Actors: This is one of those anime that makes me want to find the manga version and just go on a reading spree since it got me so hooked. Sadly it looks like I'll just have to stick with the anime (1st world problems). It is so interesting and looks great. Really looking forward to this one.
Nisekoi: This is a carryover from last season. Still interesting to watch even if it's just one of the -monogatari's with a comedy skin. Still enjoy the manga more than the anime.

No Game No Life: Same as Mekaku City Actors. Looks so fucking hype and interesting. Thank you so much Madhouse for being so fucking epic. Loli present.

Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin: This one has potential. Seems interesting and generic at the same time which is always tricky territory.

Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii: Generic bells ringing all over the place on this one but I really like the strong female lead. It is however a Shoujo which I am never really a fan of. If multiple male leads show up to fight for the female lead I might have to drop.

Soul Eater Not!: Looks way different than the original Soul Eater but in a good way. Looks fresh and interesting. Plus Maka makes anyone happy. Loli present.

Tonari no Seki-kun: Another carryover from last season. I am barely holding onto this one though as it is getting a little boring.

God so many anime to watch... :). Also if were paying attention to the list you will see I posted if loli('s) were present in the show. This is important to bring up because of two reasons:

1. Loli's are adorable and awesome
2. This season has a shit ton

It is the season of loli's so prepare yourself.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Quitting Star Wars The Old Republic (SWTOR) for good

I would like to first off state that I have been a subscriber since day one (I did leave the game for around 2 months when Tera Online came out but I still stayed subbed to the game). I have enjoyed leveling in this MMO more than any other one I have ever played. I have cleared every raid on every difficulty (other than the recently released NiM Dread Fortress) and also both Hateful and Dreadful Entity. For the most part, the community is friendly and willing to work with whatever noobness is present on fleet. The pvp (when not broken by ridiculous class perks such as the exploding sage bubble back then) is fun and worth the grind (for some). So what has ruined it for me? PVE endgame content, shitty elite guilds, and the lack of competent players.

Free-to-play has both revitalized and ruined the game. Low population servers were surely saved by free-to-play but so many perks of earning gear has been diminished by just buying a better looking skin or mount through the in-game market (the Cartel Market). Also we got a huge flux of god awful players that did not know what a snare, cc, dot, or a raid was. This might sound rude and superficial but the more of these players you get in an MMO will diminish the quality of pug runs and the pool you go to when you need to fill an open spot on a endgame content raid team.
This is what I imagine most pugs looking like...
Secondly, raiding in SWTOR has become quite dull. They reuse cosmetic shells for endgame gear, have a very slow develop time for new raids/new difficulty levels, and do not really post a challenge (the last face hammering thing that we all enjoyed was NiM EC and the "bugged" council fight in NiM TfB. The new NiM DF is welcome but I can already foresee it being easily cleared). I took the plunge into legitimate endgame grinding right before HM EC came out so I have been in the good crowd for some time. Once you get a new difficulty level of a raid on farm, it gets quite boring very fast since the game does not offer other things to do other than pvp.  
I don't remember if this picture was during NiM TfB when the counsel fight was bugged but this was exciting hard content
This brings me to my next point, there is nothing to do once you get locked out for your endgame content for the week. Yes PvP is there but most people get bored of it very quickly or just try to avoid it entirely. Unlike in games like WoW, the devs really do not try to add events or challenges for large groups to try to accomplish. Early on in the game, they introduced an event that allowed people to get infected with the ratgoul virus and infect other people. After that they introduced the Gree Event on Ilum that actually brought people back there. These were amazing events that actually gave us shit to do. Other than those specific events however, there really isn't anything to do outside your lockouts other than to PvP (only for some) or level an alt. There are no mini-games to bide your time (implementing swoop bike races or Pazaak would be so fucking easy Bioware).  
Bugging fights is only fun the first time
Lastly, the game itself is just boring now. You still see people idling by on fleet waiting for a pug run to start or a ranked warzone to pop. People undercut the in-game market, crafting is dull, and there is no drive/desire to go explore planets other than for achievements (which is pointless to me). I have also had my fair share of shitty guilds and have determined that I'm just tired of the dramaness.

Please understand this though; out of every MMO that is currently out (not including Wildstar since it is still in beta) I have had more fun playing in this one than any other one (in a leveling and endgame content way). The leveling isn't as grindy, the classes are very fun to play (Scrapper and Dirty fighting Scoundrel, Sharpshooter Gunslinger, Combat Sentinel, and TK Sage were a blast to play). This game got the healing trees perfect in PVE offering 3 distinctive play styles and purposes for each (Sages for AOE raid healing, Scoundrels for Tank healing, and Commandos as a very effective mutt of the two). Tanking is questionable since I didn't dive too much into that but I have been told that holding agro is quite hard and requires more skill and practice than other MMO's.
For now, I'll just go catch up on the endless amounts of steam games in my library until Wildstar and Star Citizen come out.
The last heart you will see in SWTOR