Archive for the Gaming News 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 Growing Problem of Immaturity

Posted in Blogging, Gaming News, LoL, MMO, MMORPG with tags , , , , , , , on 01/14/2011 by Jeremy (Jmo)

I can’t even count the number of times I’ve said how much I LOATHE Official Forums of games. Obi Wan Kenobi put it best when he said “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.” He may have been talking about Mos Eisley, but I contend that it carries over to most forum communities. This problem used to be very easy to avoid. Don’t go to the forums and you don’t have to deal with it. Unfortunately we’re now seeing a crossover of this attitude and mentality into our games. Spend 10 minutes reading General Chat on most WoW servers and you’ll see a little of what I mean, but play a competitive PvP game and you’ll experience the worst of the worst.

For those that listen to the MMOVoices Podcast, you know how much I love League of Legends. It’s quickly become one of my favorite games. I love the competitive aspect of the game, the quick matches which feed to the needs of the casual player, and even their cash shop set-up which never forces you to spend a dime. In many ways, Riot has the F2P sub-genre perfected. I usually can’t stop talking up all of the things that Riot gets right! Lately LoL has me frustrated, though.

It’s not the gameplay or any changes that have been made by Riot. It’s the plethora of server issues that hit a couple months ago. No, nothing on Riots end at all. It’s the players. I’m not generalizing all of the players by far. In fact, it’s a small minority. The problem is that it’s that minority that has been ruining the game for me lately. As the game grows — by as much as 3-5x their current player base per month — we’re seeing more of these “un-silent minority” of asshats popping up.

It’s expected that their be tauning and jeering in a PvP game. That is all in good fun. In fact, there usually is some friendly competition and words thrown back and forth, but no one takes it personal. The biggest problem with the game now is those that have a super-elitist attitude and completely belittle and disrespect the other players on the map. It goes beyond normal teasing, to attacks on ones skill, self worth (I’ve seen players telling others to go kill themselves because they aren’t a good player. I cannot imagine the effect this could have on someone that is already contemplating and are trying to use the game as an escape), lifestyle, and sexual orientation, to even threats on peoples lives and well being if they ever see them in a match again.

Riot used to ban accounts for this type of behavior, but as the game grows they can no longer keep up with the shear amount of tickets that are submitted. Because of this, most get put by the wayside and the blatant offenders are not punished for their actions, make the situation even worse. If there’s no consequences, why act respectful? I mean, come on! Why treat other players like they’re human beings? What would be the point in that? I DO WHAT I WANT!!!!!!

Well, not anymore. Yesterday, Riot announced a new system they are putting in place in LoL that will help quell the flood of in-game Trolls and downright immature asshats. The system in question will put together a council of players who have proven themselves to be fair and honest, and who treat other players the way that they should be treated. This council will now look over the tickets and decide if action needs to be taken against the reported offender(s).

I think this is an awesome idea. It’s a system that let’s fellow players decide on if the actions of other players are appropriate and warranted or not. Players will now have to think twice before they speak, or risk losing all of the time and effort they put into a level 30 accounts, because they don’t know how to be respectful to others around them. It’s about time a game company came up with a great system to deal to squelch the flames.

This is one of those innovations that passes the “Genius Test.” Immature behavior and idiocy against other players has been a growing problem for a while now. It causes veteran players to hang up their uniforms, and deters new players from trying or sticking with a game, and is nothing but poison to any games community. I hope that other studios take a page out of Riot’s book and implement systems of their own to alleviate the pain caused by these vile and vicious offenders.

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.)

MMOVoices Podcast

Posted in Gaming, Gaming News, MMORPG with tags , , on 09/05/2009 by Jeremy (Jmo)

For those that haven’t heard yet and follow my blog, I am one of the hosts of MMOVoices.ning.com ‘s Official Podcast! Head on over to the site to check it out, or look it up on iTunes, then let me know what you think!

MMOVoices – MMO Bloggers and Podcasters Rejoice!

Posted in Gaming, Gaming News, MMO, MMORPG with tags , , , on 08/09/2009 by Jeremy (Jmo)

For those of you out there familiar with GAX Online, and it’s impending doom at the end of this month, know what an MMO Social Network is. Basically, the MySpace or Facebook of the Massively Multiplayer Online Gaming world. Now the problem with GAX, and one of the main reasons it’s downfall (from what I’ve been told and what I witnessed as I browsed from time to time), was that it wasn’t moderated much, if at all. The posts were strewn with obscenities and flames made very pointedly towards the authors and podcasters. It was not a safe haven for anyone, and environments like that seem to just push people away in the end.

But what if it could be different? What if there was a new “GAX” of sorts that WAS moderated, and EVERYONE’S opinion was appreciated and respected? Well, thanks the MMO Blogger and Podcaster Beau Turkey of the Spouse Aggro Podcast (formerly Voyages of Vanguard), and husband to Leala Turkey (top notch podcaster and former lead host of Epic Dolls),  we now have a new MMO Blogger and Podcaster Social Networking Site. And that site is MMOVoices! I’m proud and excited to be a part of this rapidly growing community. The word went out less than 48 hours ago about the site going live, as nothing more than an experiment at that, and it’s now about to reach 50 members. At this rate, by mid week it should have well over 100 and growing.

I am completely stoked to be a part of this new community, and I strongly urge anyone else out there who fits into the MMO Blogger and/or Podcaster mold, to head on over to http://mmovoices.ning.com and get signed up! You won’t regret it. I look forward to what the future holds for the site, I for one know that I will be starting up another PodCast to go along with the site soon as well. Hopefully with a co-host this time, as Not-A-Cast was weird (talking to a wall and all) =p .

Anyway, for now, Jmo out. See you on the flip side, and hopefully on my friends list at MMOV! (and no, the blog isn’t dead, I swear!)

The Land Down Under

Posted in Gaming News, MMORPG with tags , , , on 02/25/2009 by Jeremy (Jmo)

There’s been a lot of stink the MMO gaming news these past couple weeks, about the Australian government deciding, all of a sudden, that MMORPGs should have a rating. While I do believe that Australia not having an M18+ rating (or whatever it’s called) a bit too much censorship to make me feel totally comfortable, I don’t see anything wrong with rating MMOs.

Here in the US, we have the ESRB that rates all of our games, online and not. So I don’t see why it’s a big deal for Australia to do the same thing. Now, if they were deemed “too adult themed” (such as the boobs in AoC), then there may be a problem. But then again, nothing is stopping the Aussies from just downloading the games off of the internet, and avoiding the box sales.

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!

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